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A TREATISE 



ON 



SINCERE REPENTANCE, TRUE FAITH, THE HOLY 
WALK OF THE TRUE CHRISTIAN, ETC. 



BY THE VENERABLE 



JOHN ARNDT, 

GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT OF ECCLESIASTICAL AFFAIRS IN THE PRINCIPALITY OF LÜNEBURG. 



ORIGINALLY TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH BY REV. A. W. BOEHM, 

GERMAN CHAPLAIN AT THE COURT OF ST. JAMES, 

AND PUBLISHED IN LONDON, A.D. 1712. 



% |Uu) ^mtrican GEftition, 

REVISED, CORRECTED, AND FURNISHED WITH ADDITIONAL MATTER FROM 
THE ORIGINAL GERMAN, 

TOGETHER WITH A 

GENERAL INTRODUCTION, 



( By CHARLES F. SCHAEFFER, D.D., 

PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY IN THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY OF THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 

AT PHILADELPHIA. 




PHILADELPHIA: 
THE LUTHERAN BOOK STORE, 

No. 807 Vine Street. 
SMITH, ENGLISH & CO., No. 23 N. Sixth Street. 

186 8. 






4- 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, 

By JOSEPH A. SEISS, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 



71- 3ö3 







CAXTO;i PRESS OP 8IIERMAN & CO. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Introduction. By the Editor, xi 

Preface. By the Author, xxxix 



BOOK I. 



WHEREIN TRUE CHRISTIANITY, SINCERE SORROW FOR SIN, REPENTANCE, FAITH, 
AND THE HOLY LIFE OF THE TRUE CHRISTIAN, ARE CONSIDERED. 



•I 

\ 



J 



Chap. I. Showing what the image of God in man is, 1 

Chap. II. Of the fall of Adam, 4 

Chap. III. Showing how man is renewed in Christ unto eternal life, .... 7 
Chap. IV. Of true repentance, and the true yoke and cross of Christ, .... 11 

Chap. V. Wherein does true faith consist ? 14 

Chap. VI. Showing how the vital power of the "Word of God should be manifested in 

man through faith, 17 

Chap. VII. The law of God, written in the hearts of all men, convinces them that in 

the day of judgment they will be without excuse, 19 

Chap. VIII. No one can find comfort in Christ and his merits who does not truly re- 
pent, .... 22 

Chap. IX. The unchristian walk of many persons in our day, is a cause of the rejection 

of Christ and of the true faith, 26> 

Chap. X. The children of the world are against Christ, and, consequently, their life 

and their Christianity are both alike false, 27' 

Chap. XI. Showing that he does not truly repent, is not a Christian, and not a child of 
God, who does not, in his life and conduct, follow Christ; also, wherein the new 

birth and the yoke of Christ consist, 29 ! 

Chap. XII. The true Christian dies unto himself and the world, and lives in Christ, . 34, 
Chap. XIII. The Christian ought willingly to die unto himself and the world-, for the 
sake of the love of Christ, and for the sake of that future and eternal glory, for 
which we were created and redeemed, .... .... 37" 

Chap. XIV. The true Christian, who imitates Christ, hates his own life- in this world, 

and forsakes the world, 41* 

Chap. XV. Showing how the "old man" daily dies, and the "new man" is daily re- 
newed, in a true Christian ; also, wherein self-denial consists, and what is meant 

by the Christian's cross, ..45* 

Chap. XVI. A conflict is constantly maintained in the Christian between the Spirit and 

the flesh, 48 

(iii) 



\ 



iv CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Chap. XVII. The inheritance and possessions of Christians are not of this world ; they 
should, therefore, regard themselves as strangers in it, while they make use of 

earthly things, 50 

Chap. XYIII. Showing how greatly G-od is offended, when man prefers things that are 
temporal to those that are eternal ; and how great the evil is, when our affections 

cleave to the creature and not to the Creator, 54 

Chap. XIX. He who is most of all conscious of his misery, is most of all acceptable to 
God ; and his Christian knowledge of his misery, urges him to seek the grace of 

God, 57 

Chap. XX. A truly Christian sorrow for sin promotes the daily amendment of the life 
of man, makes him meet for the kingdom of God, and fits him, in an increasing 
degree, for eternal life, ......... ... 61 

Chap. XXI. Of the true worship of God, 66 

; Chap. XXII. A true Christian is known primarily by love, and by a daily amendment 

of life, 72 

M Chap. XXIII. He who, in Christ, desires to grow in grace, is often compelled to with- 
draw from worldly society, .74 

Chap. XXIV. Of the love of God and our neighbor, 77 

Chap. XXV. The love of our neighbor more particularly considered, .... 83 

Chap. XXVI Wherefore our neighbor is to be loved, 85 

Chap. XXVII. Wherefore our enemies are to be loved, ...... 89 

Chap. XXVIII. Showing how the love of the Creator should be preferred to that of all 

creatures ; and how our neighbor is to be loved in God, 91 

Chap. XXIX. Of that reconciliation to our neighbor, without which God withdraws 

his grace, 94 

Chap. XXX. Of the fruits of love, *» 98 

Chap. XXXI. Pride and self-love corrupt and destroy even the best and noblest gifts, . 103 
Chap. XXXII. Great gifts do not demonstrate a man to be a Christian, but faith that 

works by love, ............... 106 

Chap. XXXIII. God has no respect to the works of any one ; but judges of works ac- 
cording to the heart, ............. 108 

Chap. XXXIV. Showing that God alone, without any human aid, is the author of our 
salvation, and that we are to submit unreservedly to his grace ; also, that Christ's 
merit is not imputed to the impenitent, 109 

Chap. XXXV. All wisdom, arts, and sciences, yea, even the knowledge of the whole 

Scripture, are vain, without a holy and Christian life, 113 

Chap. XXXVI. He who does not live in Christ, but gives his heart to the world, has 
only the outward letter of the Scriptures, but he does not experience their power, 
or eat of the hidden manna, 116 

Chap. XXXVII. He who does not follow Christ in faith, holiness, and continued re- 
pentance, cannot be delivered from the blindness of his heart, but must abide in 
eternal darkness; and he cannot have a true knowledge of Christ, or fellowship 
with him, 122 

Chap. XXXVIII. Showing that an unchristian life leads to false doctrine, hardness of 

heart, and blindness ; also, treating of the eternal election of grace, . . . 129 

Chap. XXXIX. Showing that the purity of the doctrine of the divine Word, is main- 
tained not only by discussions and publications, but also by true repentance and 
holiness of life, . 132 

Chap. XL. Sundry rules for leading a holy life, 137 



CONTENTS. 



Chap. XLI. The whole of Christianity consists in the restoration of the image of God 

in man, and the destruction of the image of Satan, 142 

Chap. XLII. In this concluding Chapter the reasons for adopting the method observed 
in Book I, are explained ; the duty of guarding against spiritual pride is described, 
and the truth is set forth that true spiritual gifts cannot be obtained without 
prayer, 153 



4 



Pkeface to the Second Book, . 157 

BOOK II. 

Chap. I. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is given to us by our Heavenly Father as our 
help against the damnable and deadly poison of Original Sin, and the pernicious 
fruits thereof, as well as a protector against all the calamities and evils both of the 
body and the soul, ............. 159 

Chap. II. The manner in which the Christian should apply and appropriate to himself 

the consolation, noticed in Chapter I, 163 

Chap. III. Our righteousness before God, consists solely in the perfect obedience and 

merit of Christ Jesus, and in the remission of sin apprehended by faith, . . . 168 

Chap. IV. Showing that saving faith in the true Christian, produces manifold fruits of 
righteousness, and that these must proceed from the depth of the heart ; also, that 
the character of our outward works, depends, in the judgment of God, upon the 
state of the heart, _ 172 

Chap. V. Showing that the evidence of true Christianity does not consist in the knowl- 
edge and the hearing of God's word, but that he is a Christian, in whose life God's 
word is manifested, and who beseeches God in sincerity that this word, as a divine 
seed, may be quickened in him, and bear fruit, 177 

Chap. VI. The perfection and salvation of men depend on union with Christ by faith ; 
but to this they can contribute nothing, whereas they rather interfere with the grace 
of God by their perverse will ; but Christ, and He alone, accomplishes the work in 
us, 182 

Chap. VII. Showing that, in order to understand the true nature of repentance, we 
must necessarily know the distinction between the old and new man ; or, how in us 
Adam must die, and Christ live ; or, how in us the old man must die, and the new 
man live, ............... 184 

Chap. VIII. Showing how graciously God invites us to repentance, and how necessary 

it is that it should not be delayed, . . . . ... .188 

Chap. IX. Showing what repentance is, and the manner in which the sinner truly re- 
pents ; also, how the goodness of God leads us to repentance, ..... 193 

Chap. X. The four properties of true repentance, 201 

Chap. XI. Showing that the fruit of conversion is the new creature ; also, that the 
Christian is, by faith, a lord over all, and, by love, a servant of all; and, that the 
life of Christ is a mirror for us, 206 

Chap. XII. Showing that Christ is the only way and end of true godliness; and that 

man goes astray, when God does not guide and direct him, 207 

Chap. XIII. Showing that Jesus Christ is the true Book of life, and that his poverty 

teaches us to despise the glory of the world, 209 

Chap. XIV. Showing how Christ, by the shame and contempt which he endured, and 

by his self-denial, teaches us to despise the honor and glory of the world, . . 212 

Chap. XV. Showing how we should, through Christ, bear and overcome the trials and 

contempt of the world, ............ 214 



vi CONTENTS. 



PAGE 



Chap. XVI. Showing how Christians are to seek and obtain favor and glory through 

Christ, in Heaven, . . . . . 218 

Chap. XVII. Showing how we may through Christ, and after the example of all the 

saints, overcome the calumnies of men, 220 

Chap. XVIII. Showing how the sorrows and pains of Christ should teach us to subdue 

the lusts of the flesh, 230 

Chap. XIX. Showing how we should behold in the crucified Christ, as in the Book of 

life, both our sins, and also the displeasure, the love, justice, and wisdom of God, . 232 
Chap. XX. Of the power and necessity of prayer, in these holy contemplations, . . 234 

Chap. XXI. Of the power of the noble virtue of humility, 238 

Chap. XXII. All the works of a true Christian must be done in humility, or they will, 

otherwise, become an abomination and idolatry, 241 

Chap. XXIII. A man who does not perceive his own emptiness, and does not give all 

the honor to God, commits the greatest of sins, and falls like Satan, . " . . 244 

Chap. XXIV. Of the noble virtue of love, and of its power, soundness, and purity, . 245 
Chap. XXV. Sundry signs by which we may ascertain whether we truly love Christ, . 249 

Chap. XXVI. Five kinds of works of love, in which the grace and goodness of God 

are especially revealed, 251 

Chap. XXVII. Showing how the Lord Jesus manifests himself to the loving soul as 

the highest love and the highest Good, 255 

Chap. XXVIII. Showing how the highest Good is perceived and tasted in the soul, . 256 

Chap. XXIX. Showing how the loving soul considers God in his benefits as the most 

liberal bountifulness, 258 

Chap. XXX. Showing how God manifests himself to the loving soul, as the supreme 

beauty, 262 

Chap. XXXI. Showing how God manifests himself to the loving soul as the infinite 

omnipotence, 26 

Chap. XXXII. Showing how the loving soul knows God as the highest righteousness 

and holiness, 264 

Chap. XXXIII. Showing how the loving soul considers God as the eternal wisdom, . 266 

Chap. XXXIV. Showing how a man should seek the wisdom of God by prayer ; con- 
taining also a useful Treatise on Prayer, wherein the reader is taught how the heart 
is to be moved unto prayer, and brought into a quiet sabbath, so that prayer may 
be wrought in us by the Lord ; the whole being set forth in Twelve Sections, . 269 

Sect. I. All that we have lost in Adam, we recover fully and completely in Christ, . 269 

Sect. II. The evils that follow the neglect of prayer, . 270 

Sect. III. The benefits of continual prayer, 271 

Sect. IV. The true Christian chooses the narrow way in Christ, rather than the 

broad way in Adam, ............ 273 

Sect. V. Considerations which should move the heart to commune with God in 

prayer, 274 

Sect. VI. The omniscient God knows what we stand in need of, before we ask him, 275 

Sect. VII. That God invites and engages all men to the exercise of prayer, and 

promises to hear their petitions, 276 

Sect. VIII. God is no respecter of persons, but has an impartial love for all his crea- 
tures, 277 

Sect. IX. Showing that it is equally sinful to pray to God upon the presumption of 

our own merit, and to forbear on account of our unworthiness, .... 279 



CONTENTS. vii 



PAOE 

Sect. X. The true worshipper ought not to seek after God in any particular place ; 

for he finds him everywhere in spirit and in truth, 280 

Sect. XI. The worshipper is not restricted to certain times of prayer, but may at any 

hour address God in prayer, provided that he does not hinder himself, . . 281 
Sect. XII. The considerations stated above, not only dispose the heart to true prayer, 

but also furnish various useful lessons, 284 

Chap. XXXV. Prayer is the sign of a true Christian, that is, of one who is anointed 

of the Lord, 285 

Chap. XXXYI. On the benefits and power of prayer, and on its true ground or founda- 
tion, 287 

Chap. XXXVII. Eeasons why God certainly hears our prayers, 291 

Chap. XXXVIII. Seven helps or aids for our infirmities in prayer, .... 298 

Chap. XXXIX. The conversation of a believing soul with God, 301 

Chap. XL. A conversation between faith and the mercy of God, 304 

Chap. XLI. The great benefits, and the great efficacy of praise offered to God, . . 305 

Chap. XLII. The reasons for which we ought daily to offer praises to God, . . . 309 

Chap. XLIII. To praise God is the highest and most honorable employment of men, . 315 
Chap. XLIV. Of patience, which triumphantly endures the cross, and waits for the 

promised glory, 318 

\JCkap. XLV. Divine consolation produces patience under afflictions, .... 322 

Chap. XLVI. Motives to patience ; and, the benefits of the cross, . . . . 326 

The benefits of the cross, 328 

Chap. XLVII. Sentences, and examples of patience and consolation, .... 329 
Chap. XLVIII. There is no affliction for which God has not provided appropriate 
consolation. The consolation which he affords is always greater than our misery ; 

this consideration should sustain and confirm our patience, . . . . . 332 
Chap. XLIX. The truth of God and the certainty of his promises, ought to dispose us 

to patience, 336 

Chap. L. Showing how hope is tested in seasons of adversity ; it maketh not ashamed, 341 

Chap. LI. Comfort for those that are weak in faith, 344 

Chap. LII. Comforting instructions for those that are laboring under great tempta- 
tions in spirit, 349 

Chap. LIII. Consolations for those who labor under great spiritual temptations, . . 355 

Chap. LIV. Comforts under secret and spiritual temptations of the devil, . . . 361 

Chap. LV. The reasons for which God sometimes delays his comfort and assistance, . 365 
Chap. LVI. Showing that in seasons of trial the consideration of the exalted patience 
of Christ, and of the future and eternal glory, will alleviate the burden of the 

cross, 367 

Chap. LVII. Consolations against the fears of death, 368 

Conclusion of the Second Book, 374 



Preface to the Third Book, . . . .' . . . . 375 

BOOK III 

Chap. I. Of the great internal treasure of an enlightened believer, .... 378 
Chap. II. True faith, and converse with the soul, the only means of attaining to this 

inward treasure, • 381 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Chap. III. The whole treasure of the inner man depends on faith, namely, God, 

Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the kingdom of God, . 384 

Chap. IV. The believing soul seeks God internally, in itself; its beauty and blessed- 
ness when it is united with God, .......... 388 

Chap. V. Showing how a man may be drawn to God; also, wherein spiritual poverty 

consists ; and, what the degrees of humility are, 389 

Chap. VI. The seat of God in the soul, 390 

Chap. VII. Of the dignity of the soul; of true repentance; and, of divine mercy, . 392 

Chap. VIII. The calling of God is earnest and sincere, and directs us to come to him, 393 

Chap. IX. The purifying influence of true faith, 395 

Chap. X. Showing how the natural light in us must disappear, and the light of grace 

shine forth, 397 

Chap. XI. God, the light of the soul, directing us not to judge our neighbors, . . 399 
Chap. XII. The Christian ought daily, once at least, wholly to abstract himself from 

all external objects, and retire into his own soul ; the advantages of this course, . 401 
Chap. XIII. Showing how the love of God enters into the soul, when it is empty of 

the love of the creatures, "... 402 

Chap. XIV. Of the exercise of patience and love, 404 

Chap. XV. Showing how Christ, the eternal Word of the Father, perfects his work in 

the hearts of the faithful, by love and humility, ....... 405 

Chap. XVI. Showing how the Holy Spirit operates in our souls, ..... 408 

Chap. XVII. Signs of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, . . . / . 409 

Chap. XVIII. Showing how worldly pleasures drive away the Holy Spirit, V . . 410 

Chap. XIX. Of inward prayer, and of the true use of the Lord's Prayer, . . . 412 
Chap. XX. Showing that humility must first be laid as a foundation in the heart, and 

all our works must rest on it ; its blessed influences} 414 

Chap. XXI. Showing that a man ought to rest in God alone, and not in his gifts; and 

that he must deny himself, 415 

Chap. XXII. Showing how our works may be rendered acceptable to God, . . . 416 

Chap. XXIII. Of the mystery of the Cross, by which we are drawn to God, . . 419 



423 



BOOK IV. 

\ 

P A E T I. 

TREATING OF THE WORKS OF THE SIX DAYS OF CREATION, IN GENERAL. 

Chap. I. Of light, the work of the First Day, - 425 

Chap. II. Of heaven, the work of the Second Day, 429 

Chap. III. Of the separation of the waters from the land, the work of the Third Day, 431 



CONTENTS. ix 



PAGE 

Chap IV. Of the sun, moon, and stars, the work of the Fourth Day, .... 440 
Chap. V. Of the waters, and their productions, the work of the Fifth Day, . . . 446 
Chap. VI. Of the living creatures, the work of the Sixth Day, 450 



PAKT II. 
TREATING SPECIALLY OP MAN. 



Chap. I. God, an infinite and eternal Being, . . . . 458 

Chap. II. God, the Supreme Good, 459 

Chap. III. Man, the most nohle of all creatures, and made for the service of God, . 460 

Chap. IV. God made man in his own image, in order that he might delight in him, . 460 

Chap. V. That God by his love bestows himself upon us, ..... 461 

Chap. VI. Showing how much man is indebted to God for his everlasting love, . . 462 

Chap. VII. Of the things that instruct and comfort the soul, 462 

Chap. VIII. Of the obligations under which men lie to God, ..... 463 

Chap. IX. Man even more indebted to God for inward, than for outward blessings, . 464 

Chap. X. Of the wisdom which God has shown in the formation of man, . . . 465 

Chap. XI. Of the obligations man lies under to God, 465 

Chap. XII. Of answering the obligations which man lies under to God, . . . 466 
Chap. XIII. Showing that God's love appears in all his works, even in his chastise- 
ments, ................ 467 

Chap. XIV. Showing how, and on what account, man is obliged to love God, . . 468 
Chap. XV. Showing that all the creatures continually remind us of the love which we 

owe to God, 469 

Chap. XVI. A general rule teaching us how to answer our obligations to God, . . 469 

Chap. XVII. Showing that the Christian who loves not God is without excuse, . . 470 

Chap. XVIII. Showing that our duty to God tends to promote our own happiness, . 471 
^ Chap. XIX. The service which the creatures render to man, compared with that which 

man renders to God, 471 

Chap. XX. All things are preserved by the hand of God, ...... 472 

Chap. XXI. Showing that from the service of man and the creatures, a union takes 

place between the visible world, man, and God, . . . . . ... 473 

Chap. XXII. From the love which we owe to God, proceeds that which we owe to our 

neighbor, 474 

Chap. XXIII. Man is made in the image of God, 474 

Chap. XXIV. That man is obliged to love his neighbor as himself, .... 475 
Chap. XXV. All mankind are to be considered as one man, or as being many mem- 
bers of one great body, 476 

Chap. XXVI. Charity, the foundation of the greatest strength, 477 

Chap. XXVII. Of the nature, properties, and fruits of love, 477 

Chap. XXVIII. Love unites him who loves with the person loved, and transforms into 

the same nature, 478 

Chap. XXIX. Nothing is worthy of our love, but that which can make us more noble 

and pure, 479 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 



Chap. XXX. Our chief love is due to God, as the first and last, the beginning and the 

end of all things, 479 

Chap. XXXI. He who principally loves himself, actually sets up himself in God's 

stead, 480 

Chap. XXXII. Love to God, the source of all that is good ; self-love, the source of all 

evil, 481 

Chap. XXXIII. Of the love of God, and the love of self, 482 

Chap. XXXIV. Love to God, the only source of peace and unity, .... 483 

Chap. XXXY. Showing how we ought to love God, 483 

Chap. XXXVI. Divine joy, the fruit of divine love, 484 

Chap. XXXVII. Of the evil fruits of self-love, 485 

Chap. XXXVIII. Everlasting sorrow and death, the end of self-love and carnal joy, . 486 

Chap. XXXIX. All that we have must be offered and consecrated to God, . . . 487 

Chap. XL. He can never praise and glorify God, who seeks his own glory, . . . 488 

Conclusion, 488 

Index, . ' 491 



INTRODUCTION. 



BY THE AMEKICAN EDITOR 



"DOTH the general purpose of the venerable John Arndt in writing his 
-L* " True Christianity," and also his own character and spirit, will be 
best exhibited by submitting to the reader a statement referring to his per- 
sonal history. He was born, December 27th, 1555, in Ballenstädt, a town 
in the Duchy of Anhalt, where his father, Rev. Jacob Arndt, long labored 
as the chaplain of Duke Wolfgang, and the pastor of one of the Evan- 
gelical Lutheran congregations of the place. The latter was a devout and 
faithful minister of the Gospel, and a wise and affectionate father. He 
had, from the earliest period, devoted much attention to the religious 
education of his son, in the performance of which holy duty he was faith- 
fully sustained by his excellent wife. Their efforts were abundantly 
blessed. The son, even in his early years, took great pleasure in reading 
the writings of Luther, and also acquired a fondness for those of Thomas 
ä Kempis, of Tauler, and of others who breathed the same spirit of devo- 
tion. That this feature of his religious character did not undergo any 
essential change in his riper years, appears from the circumstance that he 
was one of the first who collected, arranged, and republished the religious 
tracts of Stephen Praetorium, a Lutheran divine of an eminently devout 
spirit. These were subsequently re-edited by Martin Statius, who pre- 
fixed the title: Spiritual Treasury (Geistliche Schatzkammer), to the col- 
lection. This book of devotion was highly prized by Spener, has often 
been reprinted, is found in many German households, and well deserves 
to be translated, and thus made accessible to the English religious public. 
§ 2. In his tenth year Arndt lost his father, but the orphan soon found 
friends who, in the good providence of God, enabled him to continue the 
studies which he had commenced with distinguished success under the 
guidance of his father. After completing his preparatory education in 
the schools of Halberstadt and Magdeburg, he proceeded, in the year 
1576, to the university of Helmstedt, which had recently been established. 

(xi) 



xii INTRODUCTION. 



In the course of the following year, 1577, he went as a student to the 
university of Wittenberg, soon after the official recognition of the princi- 
ples embodied in the Formula of Concord (published in 1580), by which 
that institution received a strictly Lutheran character, and every tendency 
to any other doctrinal system was successfully arrested. It was here that 
he formed a very close union, first as a student, and then as a personal 
friend, with the eminent Polycarp Leyser, the elder of that name, whose 
firmness and devotion in sustaining the distinctive features of Lutheran- 
ism have assigned to him a high position in the history of his Church. — 
After Arndt had, even at this early age, acquired distinction as an accom- 
plished private lecturer on Natural Philosophy, etc., as well as on the 
Epistle to the Romans, Leyser furnished him with an unusually favorable 
recommendation to the professors in Strasburg. This city, the govern- 
ment and population of which were exclusively Lutheran, had not yet 
been subjected to that great calamity which afterwards befell it, when the 
despot and bigot, Louis XIV., incorporated it with the French monarchy, 
and by assigning undue privileges to papists, and adopting other tyranni- 
cal measures, opened an avenue for the introduction, not merely of an 
inferior Romanic language, but also of the errors and superstitions of the 
Church of Rome. 

§ 3. Arndt continued his theological studies in Strasburg, under the 
direction of Prof. Pappus, who was also distiuguished for his devotion to 
the genuine Lutheran faith. In the year 1579 he proceeded to Basel, 
where, under the gentle sway of Sulcer, the Lutheran faith had acquired 
influence and authority. In this city he was temporarily engaged as the 
tutor of a young Polish nobleman ; the latter, on one of their excursions, 
when Arndt had accidentally fallen into the Rhine, succeeded in seizing 
his sinking preceptor by the hair of his head, and thus became the means, 
in the hands of God, of saving a life of incalculable value, designed to 
prove an ever-flowing source of blessings to the Church. 

§ 4. During this whole period Arndt occupied himself with the study 
of medicine, in connection with his strictly theological studies ; it is pos- 
sible that he would have ultimately chosen the practice of medicine as the 
business of his life, if a severe illness had not intervened. After his 
recovery, he believed it to be his duty to renounce his personal tastes, and 
he thenceforth consecrated himself entirely to the service of the Church. 
His medical and chemical occupations, although not abandoned, were 
afterwards regarded by him only as a recreation. 

§ 5. He returned, in 1581 or 1582, to his native place, and labored for 
some time as a teacher, until he was called by his prince, Joachim Ernest, 
to be the pastor of the congregation in Badeborn, a village in the Duchy 
of Anhalt ; he was, accordingly, ordained in the month of October of 
the same year. It was here, too, that he was married, October 31, 1583, 
to Anna Wagner, the daughter of an eminent jurist, with whom he passed 



INTRODUCTION, xiii 



the remaining thirty-eight years of his life in unclouded domestic happi- 
ness. She was a devout Christian woman, who cheered and encouraged 
Arndt amid his many cares, alleviated every burden to the extent of her 
ability, and was always regarded by him with tenderness and gratitude. 
They were childless ; but many an orphan found that their hearts could 
overflow with love towards the young and destitute — a love as full of 
warmth as beloved children have ever experienced parental love to be. 

§ 6. In this first pastoral charge of Arndt, the unhappy state of affairs 
subjected him, particularly during the latter part of the seven years 
which he spent in it, to a " Lutheran martyrdom," as Tholuck expresses 
himself (Herzog. Encyk. I., 536). The duke, John George, who now 
reigned (a relative of the palsgrave, or count palatine, Casimir, a zealous 
Calvinist), after various inward struggles, abandoned the Lutheran faith, 
and, in the year 1596, publicly adopted the Reformed faith, a few years 
after the transactions to which we now refer. Even Protestant rulers, 
who had not yet learned the theory that a union of church and state can 
operate only perniciously, perpetually interfered in the internal affairs of 
the church. — At this period it was the custom of Lutheran pastors, when 
they administered the rite of Baptism, to follow the liturgical form which 
prescribed " exorcism." This feature of the whole baptismal form, which 
was introduced as early as the third century, or even earlier (before the 
days of Tertullian and Origen), consisted simply in a sentence adjuring 
the evil spirit to depart from the subject of Baptism. The early practice 
had, like others, been gradually associated, after the rise and develop- 
ment of popery, with superstitious ideas, such as was also the case with 
the Lord's Supper, until it assumed an absurd and even revolting form. 
At the period of the Reformation, Zwingli and Calvin (Inst. IV., c. 15, 19; 
c. 19, 24) rejected the whole form of exorcism. Luther and Melanchthon, 
on the other hand, after discarding the popish excrescences, believed that 
the scriptural doctrine which the early form involved or suggested, author- 
ized the retention of the practice, when restricted to a very plain and 
simple formula, expressive of a scriptural truth. — Now, at that period, as 
it is well known, unfriendly feelings, engendered by various causes, ex- 
isted to a certain extent, between the heads respectively of the Reformed 
and the Lutheran churches, in consequence of which even harmless customs 
which none would, under ordinary circumstances, either advocate or con- 
demn with partisan feeling, assumed a confessional character. Such was 
the case with the purified and simple Lutheran baptismal sentence con- 
taining the " exorcism." 

§ 7. Arndt's course in this matter has often been misunderstood; as it, 
however, demonstrates him to have been alike a very firm and conscien- 
tious man, and also an uncompromising supporter of the distinctive doc- 
trines and usages of the Lutheran Church, the following details may be 
appropriately furnished. — The language which Luther retained in his form 



xiv INTRODUCTION. 



for Baptism (Taufbüchlein), after omitting all popish and superstitious prac- 
tices, was the following. Between the prayer and the reading of Mark 
10 : 13-16, the pastor says : " I adjure thee, thou unclean spirit, in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that thou 
go out and depart from this servant of Jesus Christ, Amen." — Luther 
understood the form to be a declaration or distinct confession of the doc- 
trine of Original Sin, and a renunciation of Satan. Still, the Lutheran 
Church, as such, never recognized the necessity of this ancient form, and 
its confessional writings never allude to it. After the excitement of feel- 
ing peculiar to Arndt's age, had been allayed by time, the Lutheran 
Church regarded the whole as a mere adiaphoron, that is, a "thing indiffer- 
ent," not essentially involving any principle whatever, inasmuch as the 
doctrine of Original Sin had already been very explicitly set forth and 
confessed in her Symbolical Books. Such was the opinion of the eminent 
Lutheran dogmatical writers, Gerhard, Quenstedt, Hollaz, etc. ; and men 
like Baier and Baumgarten even advocated the discontinuance of the 
practice. It is no longer retained in any prominent manner in the 
Lutheran Church. — But in the age in which Arndt lived, who was not a 
man that would obstinately cling to a mere form, the rejection of the for- 
mula of Exorcism did involve a principle; for, under the peculiar circum- 
stances, that rejection might be understood to be, first, a rejection of the 
doctrine of Original Sin, and, secondly, an affirmation that the children 
of believing parents were in the kingdom of heaven, even before they 
had received Baptism. But all this seemed to conflict with the Pauline 
doctrine that all are " by nature the children of wrath." Eph. 2:3. 
While, then, J. Ben. Carpzov, the distinguished interpreter of the Sym- 
bolical Books, who died in 1557, decides that the "Exorcism" is in itself 
a matter of indifference, and may without scruple be dropped, he never- 
theless holds that if the omission of it should be understood as a denial 
of the Scripture doctrine of the corruption of human nature (Original 
Sin), it becomes, in such a case, a matter of principle to retain the for- 
mula. (Isagoge, etc., p. 1122 ff. ; 1608.) Walch, the other eminent inter- 
preter of the Symbolical Books (Introductio, etc.), does not refer to the 
matter at all, as it is no essential part of the Lutheran Creed. But Arndt, 
who was a calm, sagacious, and conscientious observer, and who may 
justly be considered as claiming that, in forming a judgment respecting 
him, we should not overlook the spirit of his times, apprehended that the 
suppression of the "exorcism" was secretly designed to be the fore- 
runner of the suppression of the entire Lutheran faith, which constituted 
the life of his soul ; he could not, under such circumstances, consent to 
endanger his most precious treasure. 

§ 8. Now the duke, John George, after his virtual adoption of the Re- 
formed faith and practice, issued a peremptory order that the formula of 
Exorcism should no longer be employed in his dominions at the baptism 



INTRODUCTION. xv 



of any infant. Arndt, who was characterized by a childlike submission 
to those in authority, as long as matters of principle were not involved, 
could not renounce his faith in God's word, and, especially, his personal 
conviction of the natural depravity of the human heart. He might have 
consented to drop a mere form ; but he saw here an entering wedge, which 
justly alarmed him. His apprehensions were subsequently proved to have 
been only too well founded, when, soon afterwards, Luther's Catechism 
was suppressed, and another substituted in its place. Hence, as he could 
not renounce a prominent feature of the Lutheran creed, he firmly and 
positively refused to obey the ducal command. He remarked, in the 
written statement which embodied his reasons for refusing to obev, and 
which was submitted to the civil authorities, that his conscience would 
not allow him to comply with such a demand of the secular authority — 
that the orthodox fathers, who had, during thirteen centuries, connected 
" exorcism " with Baptism, understood it in accordance with the mind and 
true sense of the Scriptures (ex mente et vero sensu Scriptures) — that it was, 
therefore, by no means " an impious ceremony " (as the civil ruler, a lay- 
man, had thought proper to designate it), — that he must necessarily abide 
by the decision of his conscience — and, that he would humbly submit to 
any sentence which his prince might pronounce in the case. The date 
which he affixed to the document, is Sept. 10, 1590. That sentence, which 
was soon afterwards proclaimed, deposed Arndt from his office, and ban- 
ished him from the ducal territories. The reader of Book I. of the " True 
Christianity," will now understand, after observing the earnestness with 
which the author insists on the doctrine of Original Sin, or the depravity 
of human nature, that he could not conscientiously take any step which 
would, even indirectly, involve a denial of that sad truth of the Bible, — & 
truth to which his knowledge of his own heart daily testified. 

§ 9. But the Divine Head of the Church did not depose this faithful' 
minister. At the very time when Arndt seemed to be homeless and 
friendless, two important posts were offered to him — one in Mansfeld, the 
other in Quedlinburg, an important city, which, after belonging to various 
rulers, has at last been incorporated with the monarchy of Prussia. The 
city adopted the Lutheran faith in 1539. Arndt decided to make this 
place his home, and he labored here with eminent success, during a 
period of seven years, as the pastor of the church of St. Nicholas. How- 
ever, he also endured much affliction in this new charge, and his holy 
zeal and devout spirit, while fully appreciated by intelligent and enlight- 
ened believers, were misunderstood and even hated by others, so that he- 
longed to be transferred to another field of labor. 

§ 10. He w T as at length permitted to depart, and removed to the city of 
Brunswick, situated in the territory of the duke of Brunswick; it aspired : 
at that time to become a " free city/' subject directly to the German 
emperor. The warfare between the duke and the city, during Arndt's 

B 



xvi INTKODUCTIOlSr. 



residence in the latter, subjected him to many sore trials. His abode in 
it, extending from 1590 to 1608, is specially interesting, as he then pre- 
sented to the religious community Book I. of his " True Christianity." 
Dr. A. Wildenhahn, who has, in recent times, furnished us with various 
charming volumes, descriptive of the times, respectively, of Luther, 
Spener, Paul Gerhardt, etc., in which he combines "fiction and truth," 
has selected this period of Arndt's history, as the one to which he dedi- 
cates his two delightful volumes, entitled "Johannes Arndt" (Leipzig, 
1861). This author complains that he found it a difficult task to collect 
full and authentic accounts of Arndt's life. Still, he obtained access to 
various documents in the archives of the city of Brunswick, and in the 
royal library in Dresden, which had not been previously examined even 
by Arndt's best biographer, the Rev. Frederick Arndt, of Berlin ; and 
these materially assisted him in preparing his own work.* 

§ 11. During the earlier years of Arndt's residence in Brunswick, as a 
co-pastor of the church of St. Martin, his life was comparatively peaceful 
and happy. The purity of his character, the soundness and power of his 
doctrine, and the diligence and fidelity manifested in his pastoral labors, 
could not fail to command the respect, and attract the love of all candid 
persons. But he was at length subjected to trials of a new and painful 
character, and became the victim of the hostile and persecuting spirit of 
men from whom a very different course of conduct might have reasonably 
been expected. The origin of these new difficulties has not always been 
clearly understood ; while some have regarded Arndt as worthy of the 
censures of those who assailed him, others are disposed to condemn those 
assailants in unqualified terms. It is strange that, even at this compara- 
tively remote period, such judgments are sometimes expressed in language 
which betrays personal feeling rather than it announces the calm judg- 
ment of a later and disinterested generation. 

§ 12. It is here necessary to cast a glance at the history of the times 
which preceded and followed the eventful year 1555, in which Arndt was 
born, a year ever memorable as the one in which the signing of the arti- 
cles of the Peace of Augsburg secured a temporary external repose for 
the Lutheran Church. This " Peace " terminated at least the horrors 
which had followed the introduction, in 1548, of the Augsburg Interim, by 
which the newly-established Protestant doctrine was seriously endangered. 
The provisions of this Interim were enforced with such merciless tyranny 
by popish authorities, that in South Germany alone about four hundred 

* A very accurate and interesting " Life of John Arndt," was published in English by 
Rev. Dr. J. G. Morris, of Baltimore, in 1853, which presents the principal events that belong 
to Arndt's history, and furnishes a faithful portraiture of his personal character. Wilden- 
hahn's work, admirably translated by Rev. G. A. Wenzel, now of Pittsburg, Pa., was pub- 
lished as a serial in the " Lutheran and Missionary," about three years ago. This work, in a 
permanent form, would be a rich addition to our English religious literature. 



INTRODUCTION". xvii 



faithful Lutheran pastors, who could uot conscientiously accede to an 
arrangement which might possibly restore the full authority of the errors 
and superstitions of Rome, were driven, as exiles, with their families, 
from their homes. The spirit of the Christian martyrs of the early ages 
of the Church revived in these heroic men, and they clung with undying 
tenacity to their holy faith. 

§ 13. That faith now encountered new enemies, who did not resort to 
fire and the swdfcl, hut who adopted more insidious means for corrupting 
divine truth; and again, assaults like theirs, only increased the jealousy 
with which the genuine Lutherans guarded the purity of their doctrinal 
system. It was the only gift of heaven, which sin and Satan could not 
touch, and which retained all its unsullied holiness. The soul of man had 
become corrupt; the body was subject to disease and death; the world, 
fair as it was, and rich in the gifts of God, had nevertheless been made 
by sin to bring forth thorns and thistles. But the Gospel truth, which 
conducted men to Christ and heaven, remained in all its purity and power. 
These men were willing to suffer and die, but while they did live, they 
could not relax the grasp with which they held fast to evangelical truth. 
Now, amid the political and religious commotions of that stormy age, 
could we expect that devout men should say, "Peace, peace;" when there 
was no peace ? (Jerem. 6 : 14.) 

§ 14. Let us illustrate this subject. Schwenkfeldt, for instance (born in 
1490; died, 1561), an opponent of both the Lutherans and the Reformed, 
as well as of the Papists, and, accordingly, constantly engaged in contro- 
versies with all parties, declared that Luther's uncompromising determi- 
nation to maintain the authority of the written word of revelation, the 
Bible, was equivalent to a worship of the letter. He assigned, in his 
fanaticism and morbid mysticism, a rank to an inner and direct word of 
the Divine Spirit, which he asserted that he received, far above that of the 
written word of God. He refused to make any distinction between the 
divine act of the justification of the believer, on the one hand, and the 
progressive sanctification of the believer, on the other. He taught that 
the two natures of Christ, the divine and the human, w r ere so fused 
together, or, rather, that the flesh of Christ was so absolutely deified or 
converted into God himself, that no distinction between them remained, — 
that the regenerate could live without sin, etc. He succeeded, in spite of 
the crucleness, one-sidedness, and unsoundness of his doctrines, in attract- 
ing many disciples. His death, which occurred in 1561, a few years after 
Arndt's birth, did not terminate the widespread confusion which he had 
created in the Protestant Church ; the dread of that sickly form of mysti- 
cism which he attempted to establish, long remained. The fear was natu- 
rally entertained that it might lead many astray, who, while they did not 
otherwise fraternize with Schwenkfeldt in his wild and absurd course, 



n 



xviii INTEODUCTION. 



might be deluded by his claims to superior religious intelligence and 
holiness. 

§ 15. The disastrous influences of the demagogue Thomas Münzer 
(born in 1490), and of his fanatical party, the Zwickau prophets, on sound 
doctrine and sound morals, as well as the blood which they had shed, 
were still vividly remembered. — Servetus, the Unitarian, had perished, 
but he left a seed behind; the doctrine of Christ's deity still remained a 
point of attack. And besides these false teachers, several others, who 
were originally connected in various modes with the Lutheran Church, 
promulgated at various times opinions which seemed to be subversive of 
all Scripture doctrine. — Agricola, who had originally been an active 
adherent of Luther, gradually departed from the faith. He unquestion- 
ably betrayed the interests of Protestantism by sanctioning the Augsburg 
Interim of 1548. He engaged in a controversy, at first with Melanchthon, 
and then with Luther himself, on the subject of the proper "Use of the 
law" — the Antinomistic controversy — maintaining that the law was no 
longer of importance to the believer, and that the Gospel alone should be 
preached. He died in 1566, when Arndt was about eleven years old. 
The confusion in the church, which he created by his dangerous senti- 
ments on several points, was long painfully felt. — The Osiandrian contro- 
versy, respecting Justification, and its relation to Sanctification, began in 
1549, and closed only when Arndt was already a student. — The Majoristic 
controversy originated in the public declaration made by G. Major, that 
" good works are necessary to salvation" The fears which such a doctrine, 
that savored of popery, produced among orthodox and devout Lutherans, 
were excessive. Those who opposed Major, were alarmed by his un- 
guarded expressions, and apprehended that the Gospel doctrine of Justifi- 
cation by faith in Christ alone, without human works or merit, w 7 ould be endan- 
gered, unless they silenced him. The controversy, in its most energetic 
form, terminated about seven years after Arndt's birth, but the indirect 
effects of the misconceptions connected with the great topic of this con- 
troversy, were deeply felt by him. — The Synergistic controversy, relating 
to the question whether man could co-operate with the Holy Spirit in the 
work of his conversion, began in the year in which Arndt was born, and 
was maintained with great energy during several years. — The so-called 
Cryptocalvinistic controversy, referring mainly to the doctrine of the 
Lord's Supper, and involving certain important questions respecting the 
Person of Christ, commenced about three years before Arndt's birth, and 
agitated the church during many years. — These, and other subjects on 
which also controversies had arisen, were, in the good providence of God, 
at length calmly considered by learned and devout Lutheran theologians, 
conscientiously examined in the light of the divine Word, impartially de- 
cided, and set forth, in the year 1580, in the Formula of Concord, the last 
of the special Lutheran creeds, all the doctrines of which Arndt cordially 



INTRODUCTION, xix 



received, as he repeatedly declared in an official manner on various occa- 
sions, in his writings, in his last will and testament, and on his death-bed. 
(See below §§ 24, 25.) The very great reverence with which he regarded 
this noble creed, and his attachment to it, are to be ascribed not only to 
the spotless purity of the doctrines which it sets forth, but also to the 
good work which it performed in successfully and permanently deciding 
several very important questions which had latterly arisen, and on which 
the preceding creeds had not authoritatively and fully pronounced. It is, 
however, obvious, that even after these storms subsided, the waves would 
long remain in commotion, and it was precisely in these troublous times 
that Arndt labored in the ministry. 

§ 16. The catalogue of the difficulties which awaited him, is not yet 
exhausted. We have to add, as a part of the history of the times, when 
an extraordinary number of political and ecclesiastical contentions pre- 
vailed, the excitement of feeling which certain differences of doctrine 
between the Lutherans and the Reformed engendered, and which would 
never have risen to the fearful height in which history now exhibits it to 
us, if political power, controlled alternately by the two religious parties in 
some of the German principalities, had not been invoked by them. The 
awful death by fire, which terminated the career of Servetus (Oct. 27, 
1553, two years before the birth of Arndt, and more than six years after 
the death of Luther), was decreed by the civil authorities of Geneva, but 
was sanctioned by Calvin and even the gentle Melanchthon — a sad example 
of the clouded views of men at that time respecting religious liberty and 
the right of civil rulers to punish men for their errors in the faith. 

§ 17. In the Palatinate (the ancient Pfalz, the territories of which are 
now distributed among Bavaria, Prussia, etc.) the Lutheran Church had 
been established, and popery ceased to exist. But in 1560, a few years 
after Arndt's birth, the Elector, Frederick III., withdrew from the church, 
and adopted the Reformed faith and usages. His successor, Lewis VI., 
endeavored to restore the ascendency of Lutheranism; but after his brief 
reign, the authorities which succeeded, established " Calvinism" (the term 
employed in Church History) on a permanent basis. A similar ecclesiastico- 
civil revolution occurred in Bremen in 1562; fourteen Lutheran pastors 
and the Lutheran members of the City Council were expelled, and the 
city became Reformed. Such changes occurred elsewhere. Both parties 
were undoubtedly more or less honest in adhering to their doctrinal views; 
and both claimed the right to depose and exile those of an opposite faith, 
whenever the civil and political power was, in either case, directed by them. 

§ 18. Let it now be remembered that these contending Protestants, Lu- 
theran and Reformed or Calvmistic, were led by men respectively, who 
were confessedly intelligent, learned, and endowed with great abilities, 
many of whom were not only honest in expressing their convictions, but 
also conscientious in their conduct, whether they were governed by an 



xx INTRODUCTION. 



erring or an enlightened conscience. That the latter is historically true, 
is demonstrated by their readiness, when they lost power, to submit to 
imprisonment or exile, rather than to renounce their respective creeds. 
They were all too well acquainted with Bible truth to look with other 
feelings than with horror on the popish creed. But while their own Prot- 
estant creed was very precious to their souls, they could not tolerate any 
departure from it, even if that departure was not in the direction " towards 
Rome." That departure must, as they judged, necessarily be equivalent 
to a denial of God's truth, as they believed that they had found it in the 
Bible. Thus all were alike sensitive — all seemed to feel that if they toler- 
ated any error, that error could not be trivial — it was, as far as it extended, 
a denial of God's truth. Could they safely assume the shame and guilt 
of such a sin ? We may add, that we are here speaking only of the honesi 
leaders of the Lutherans and the Reformed, of whom each man judged 
and acted for himself, as one who was accountable to God. No honest 
Reformed theologian would have screened a Reformed heretic from con- 
demnation; and no honest Lutheran would, for a moment, have tolerated 
a nominal Lutheran, who rejected any part of the creed of the church. 

§ 19. At the same time, all these men were fallible creatures, subject to 
all the errors of judgmeut, and to all the passions and infirmities inci- 
dent to fallen man. They often supposed that their intentions were pure, 
when selfish motives governed them, and their jealous guardianship of 
God's truth was combined with a jealous love for their personal opinions. 
It was under these circumstances, when each party watched with extreme 
jealousy over the purity of the faith, as adopted by it, and when, besides, 
many private interests — personal, political, and pecuniary — ''exercised vast 
influence, that Arndt entered on his labors. — We have introduced the 
above details, in order to explain his declarations in the preface to Book 
I. § 8, that he rejects the Synergistic, Majoristic^etc, errors, and enter- 
tains no other views except those which are set forth in the Lutheran 
Symbolical Books. 

§ 20. When he commenced his labors in Brunswick, he was the 
youngest member of the " ministerium" of the city, that is, of the college 
composed of the pastors of the several city churches, all of which at that 
time strictly adhered to the Lutheran creed. He had long lamented that, 
in consequence of the infelicity of the times, which caused endless doc- 
trinal controversies, the parties of which were many, Papists, Mystics, 
Unitarians, Reformed, Lutherans, etc., the attention of many persons was 
diverted from the practical duties of a Christian life, and directed exclu- 
sively to controversies on points of doctrine; the result was, that the 
understanding was actively exercised, but the heart was not properly 
affected. Such considerations induced him to write Book I. of his " True 
Christianity." It was his object to show that God demands a holy life, 
proceeding from faith in Christ, and that no jealousy concerning the 



INTEODUCTIOK 



xxi 



purity of the creed will atone for the absence of the fruits of the Spirit, 
as exhibited in the life and conduct of the individual. Hence he insists 
with a warmth unusual in that excited and controversial age, on repent- 
ance, on faith in Christ, and on a holy life. Possibly, the apparently 
sweeping assertions which occasionally occur in his writings, to the effect 
that the majority of his contemporaries lacked a heavenly spirit, acquired 
their sombre hue in consequence of the publicity given to human frailties, 
and the retirement and shade in which vast numbers of holy men pre- 
ferred to dwell. His Book L, which constitutes the principal part of the 
work, was first published in Jena, in the year 1605; a second and improved 
edition appeared in 1607. 

§ 21. It consisted principally of the matter which he had introduced in 
a course of practical sermons previously delivered by him on week-days. 
It attracted great attention, and was rapidly circulated throughout Ger- 
many. The modest and retiring author, without expecting such a result, 
at once became a celebrity. Nevertheless, new trials now commenced. 
An envious feeling seems to have been engendered in the hearts of several 
of his colleagues in the " ministerium " of the city, when they noticed the 
honor which the author had undesignedly gained. Perhaps, too, the con- 
troversial spirit of the times, and the jealousy of good men respecting the 
faith, which was assailed on all sides — by Papists, Calvinists, Unitarians, 
fanatics, etc., — may have led them to scrutinize the book with too sus- 
picious eyes. All held firmly to the Gospel doctrine of Justification by 
faith alone, without works. Now, when they found that Arndt insisted 
with such earnestness on the evidences of faith, as furnished by a holy 
life, they were morbidly affected, and apprehended that the doctrine of 
justification by faith alone, which their bitter enemies, the Papists, de- 
nounced, had not been guarded with sufficient care by Arndt. Other 
expressions, again, which they did not interpret impartially, led them to- 
fear that he was introducing mysticism and other morbid religious systems- 
into the Church. The reproaches which he was compelled to hear, deterred 
him for some time from fulfilling his promise of adding three other 
"Books" to Book I. The complete work may be regarded as consisting- 
of Four Books, as published in 1609. At a considerably later period a 
fifth, and then a sixth book, were added. The former was designed as- 
an explanation and recapitulation of the Four Books, and the latter,, 
consisting in part of letters addressed to various eminent theologians,, 
besides having the same object in view, was intended also to defend the- 
doctrinal and ethical positions assumed in the Four Books. As they 
partake of the nature of an appendix, and refer, to some extent, to mis- 
understandings belonging to an earlier age, the Latin versions omit them,, 
and this example was followed by the English translator. 

§ 22. Arndt was freed from the unpleasant relations in which he stood' 
to his colleagues in Brunswick, in which city he had spent about ten years,,, 



xxii INTRODUCTION. 



by a call which he received in 1608 to enter a new field of labor in Eisleben. 
This city, which, as in the clays of Luther (who was born and baptized, and 
who also died there), still belonged to the territory of the Counts of Mans- 
feld, is at present incorporated with the kingdom of Prussia (Province of 
Saxony). It was here that Arndt ventured to publish the whole of the 
Four Books of his " True Christianity." In this new position, his admirable 
character and spirit were justly appreciated alike by his patrons, the 
Counts of Mansfeld, by his colleagues, and by the people. The fidelity 
with which he remained at his post during the prevalence of an epidemic 
that carried off many of the inhabitants, his self-sacrificing spirit in the 
discharge of his pastoral duties, and his judicious course as an assessor 
of the local consistory, demonstrated the true nobility of his soul — the 
spirit of the divine Eedeemer. However, even though his relations with 
all who surrounded him were of the most friendly character, he did not 
remain longer than about two years and a half in Eisleben. He had been 
repeatedly invited to assume important charges, which he declined to 
accept; for while he had often found opponents, his great personal merit, 
his eminent services, both as a preacher of the Gospel and as an author 
of devotional works, and his godly spirit, had secured for him the respect, 
confidence, and love of the whole religious public. Duke George of 
Brunswick-Lüneburg, who at that time resided in Celle (Zelle), invited 
him, in the year 1611, to accept the two offices of court-preacher and of 
General Superintendent of ecclesiastical affairs in the principalities of 
Brunswick and Lüneburg. (Celle was subsequently attached to the king- 
dom of Hanover, but has, in the most recent times, been absorbed, with 
the contiguous territories, by Prussia.) The Count of Mansfeld very 
reluctantly consented to Arndt's removal; the latter, however, believed 
that it had become his duty to enter the wide and inviting field of labor 
which Providence had opened to him. The reigning duke, who was 
deeply interested in the welfare of the Lutheran Church, judiciously and 
vigorously sustained his new court-preacher in all his labors. The latter, 
in addition to his ordinary pastoral duties, visited the congregations of the 
whole territory, introduced various ecclesiastical reforms, and continued 
till his death, which occurred May 11, 1621, to enjoy the divine blessing 
himself, and to be a blessing to all whom his influence reached. If he 
was born during a stormy period, and lived in an age of controversies 
which wounded his soul, he was, nevertheless, like Luther, very happy in 
being permitted to terminate his labors precisely at the time when he was 
■called away. For, as Luther closed his eyes in peace during the year 
which preceded the disastrous battle of Mühlberg (April 24, 1547), so 
Arndt fell asleep soon after the Thirty Years' War began, before the world 
:saw those horrors which language fails to describe in their awful extent. 
Lie had contracted a disease of the throat, which was subsequently aggra- 
vated by a violent fever ; and his exhausted frame at length yielded to the 



INTKODUCTIOK xxiii 



assault of disease. He sent for his friend and brother, the Rev. William 
Storch, early in the morning of May 9. After being placed on a chair, 
he humbly made a general confession of his sins, declared once more that 
he adhered as heretofore to the pure doctrine of God's word and rejected 
every error, and then, with all the cheerfulness of Christian faith, received 
the Lord's Supper. Dr. Morris, in the work referred to, in a note above, 
quotes from his authorities the following: " Mr. Storch then addressed 
him (in language similar to that which Dr. Jonas used in speaking to the 
dying Luther) as follows: 'I do not doubt, that as you have never enter- 
tained any doctrine contrary to God's word, but have always continued 
firm and steadfast in the pure, unadulterated word, the Scriptures of the 
prophets and apostles, the Augsburg Confession, and other Symbolical 
Books of the Lutheran Church, and most heartily and sincerely despised 
and rejected all contrary doctrines, so you will also by God's grace main- 
tain to the end the same doctrines and faith which you have publicly 
preached and professed.' Arndt replied several times, in a weak but 
intelligible voice, most decisively, 'Yes, yes, that I will, even to the 
end.' " On the 11th of May he began to sink rapidly, but was still able 
to repeat many of his favorite texts, such as Ps. 143 : 2, and John 5 : 21. 
After having slept a short time, he awoke, looked upward, and exclaimed 
with a comparatively loud voice: " We beheld his glory, the glory as of the 
only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1 : 14. His wife 
asked him when he had seen that " glory." He replied: "I saw it just 
now. what a glory it is ! It is the glory which eye hath not seen, nor 
ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man to conceive of. This 
is the glory which I saw." — When he heard the clock striking at eight in 
the evening, he asked what the hour was. When it struck again, he re- 
peated the question. On being told that it was striking nine, he said: 
"Now I have overcome all." These were the last words of this "good 
soldier of Jesus Christ." 2 Tim. 2: 3. He lay perfectly still until after 
midnight, when he breathed his last. God had given him a peaceful 
death. The serenity of his soul in his last hours seemed to linger on his 
features, even after the spirit had departed. # 

§ 23. Two dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg followed him to the grave 
(May 15th), as a testimony of their sense of the great worth of their revered 
spiritual guide. The text of the funeral sermon, delivered by Eev. Mr. 
Storch, consisted of the words, "I have fought a good fight," etc. 2 Tim. 
4 : 7, 8. His remains were deposited in the church at Celle. The tomb 
exhibits the following inscription : 

Qui Jesum vidit, qui mundum et daemona vicit, 
Arndius in scriptis vivit ovatque suis. 

(That is: Arndt, who saw Jesus, and conquered the toorld and the devil, lives 
and triumphs in his writings.) 



xxiv INTEODTJCTIOK 



§ 24. Nothing could be more unjust than any charge affecting the purity 
of the faith of Arndt as a Lutheran Christian. His general orthodoxy 
was always readily admitted; a few unreasonable and prejudiced men, 
however, who suspected that mysticism and other errors were concealed 
in the " True Christianity," although the existence of such matter could 
not be established, nevertheless alleged, with a certain morbid feeling, 
that Arndt did not adopt the entire creed of the Lutheran Church, as set 
forth in " all her symbolical books." This circumstance accounts for the 
frequency and earnestness with which he declares his unconditional accept- 
ance of, and hearty belief in, all the details of the Lutheran faith. Thus 
the reader will find, at the close of the Preface to Book L, an emphatic 
declaration of his recognition of the doctrines of all the Symbolical Books, 
the names of which he enumerates in full. See, also, the conclusion of 
Book IL, and the conclusion of the Preface to Book IV., where similar 
declarations occur. He repeats them in his Preface to Book VI., where 
he employs the following language: " My dear reader, inasmuch as our 
holy Christian faith, the pure evangelical doctrine, has, for about one 
hundred years, been elucidated, purified, and sufficiently explained, in 
accordance with the rule of the holy Word of God, and also been cleansed 
from many errors through the means of two glorious and praiseworthy 
confessions of faith, namely, the Augsburg Confession, and the Formula 
of Concord, which have hitherto been, and still continue to be, my own 
confession of faith ; and, inasmuch as some have, at the same time, uttered 
complaints respecting the ungodly manner of life of the present world, 
with which the Christian faith cannot coexist; therefore, I wrote, some 
years ago, Four Books on True Christianity, in which I have depicted 
the internal, and, also, the external Christian life. For although the pure 
doctrine is the foremost point of true Christianity, I have, nevertheless, not 
wished to treat of it in a special manner, as this has been copiously and 
superabundantly done by others, and is still daily done; and I have taken 
only the Christian life as my subject," This Book VI. appeared somewhat 
less than a year before his death, and gives special prominence to the last 
of the Lutheran confessions of faith — the Formula of Concord — in which 
the doctrines concerning the Person of Christ, the Lord's Supper, etc., are 
set forth in all their details; he thus repeats anew his cordial acceptance 
of the doctrines contained therein. In a letter of thanks addressed to 
Dr. Mentzer, of Giessen (Book VI., Part IL, Letter 7), he expressly rejects 
the serious doctrinal errors of Schwenkfeldt respecting the Scriptures, the 
Person of Christ, the two Sacraments, etc., and adds: "These errors have 
been publicly condemned and rejected, partly in the Augsburg Confession, 
and partly in the Formula of Concord, after the pure doctrine was firmly 
established." He concurs, of course, in the condemnation of such errors. — 
In Letter 8, of the same Book, addressed to Dr. Piscator, of Jena, he says: 
" I call on the great God, the Searcher of hearts, as my witness, that it was 



INTRODUCTION. xxv 



not in my mind, in anything which I have written, to depart from the true 
religion of the Augsburg Confession and the Formula of Concord, and 
that I had no intention to disseminate erroneous opinions, much less to 
defend any which conflicted with the Symbolical Books of our Church." 
§ 25. On his death-bed he repeated anew, as we have seen, that he con- 
tinued, as heretofore, to adhere faithfully to the pure evangelical doctrine. 
In the two copies of his last will and testament, of the years 1610 and 
1616, he solemnly declares that he had always held with full consciousness 
and understanding the doctrines of the Augsburg Confession and the 
Formula of Concord, and never departed from their contents either in his 
public teaching or his private views, that he never would adopt any other 
faith, and that he prayed that the grace of God might sustain him in this 
frame of mind until his last hour should come. The singularly emphatic 
manner in which, on every appropriate occasion — and many of such 
occurred — he declared his sincere belief in the peculiar and distinctive 
doctrines of the Lutheran Church, in all their details, as set forth in her 
Symbolical Books, by no means proceeded from a narrow-minded secta- 
rian feeling. " Christ is all, and in all" (Col. 3 : 11) — these apostolic words 
indicate the spirit of Arndt's religion. He could not sympathize with the 
Papist, who robs Christ of the glory which belongs exclusively to his 
atoning work — not with the Unitarian, who attempts to dethrone Him — 
not with the fanatic, who, even when honest, is misguided by passion and 
spiritual pride — not with the unbeliever, who flees from the shame of the 
cross — not even with his Reformed fellow-Christians, whose merits he 
readily acknowledged, but whose rejection of the Lutheran doctrine re- 
specting the Person of Christ and the Lord's Supper, as set forth especially 
in the Formula of Concord, grieved his soul. He had found the precious 
Gospel truth, which constituted his life, to be identical with the creed of 
his Church, and with that creed alone, in all its glorious fulness. He could 
not consent to sacrifice one jot or one tittle of the Augsburg Confession, 
nor could he assign to it an isolated position, even though Zwingli and 
his associates readily adopted it, with tbe single exception of Article X. 
Nor did his heart or his conscience allow him to ignore the other Lutheran 
Symbols. The Augsburg Confession undoubtedly contained the pure truth 
of the Gospel, without any admixture of errors; but, owing to the circum- 
stances and the times in which it originated, when it was the great object 
of Luther and his associates to justify their course in withdrawing from 
antichristian Rome, it confined itself to those principles which were then 
specially debated. Hence Calvin, who differed so widely on some points 
from the fully developed Lutheran creed, readily adopted and subscribed 
it at Strasburg. — The Apology, or Vindication of the Augsburg Confession, 
set forth, among others, the cardinal doctrine of the Lutheran faith, namely, 
Justification by faith alone, with extraordinary power and purity. Its full, 
lucid, and strictly scriptural character has never been successfully con- 



xxvi INTRODUCTION. 



troverted. For this very reason the Apology was rejected by Papists, as 
it now is practically by Rationalists and others who depend on human 
merit, and are unwilling to give all honor to the Saviour alone. — The 
Smalcald Articles, which Luther prepared in order to set forth the points 
on which no Protestant or Bible Christian could make any concession to 
Popery, are also offensive to Papists, to Rationalists, and to the unbelieving 
and impenitent generally, as they contain the pure evangelical truth, which 
humbles man, while it exalts God. — The Two Catechisms (the Large and the 
Small) furnish materials for popular instruction in revealed truth, which 
have never been equalled by other manuals, in their adaptation to the 
object, their fulness, and their purity. Hence, a friend of divine truth, 
like Arndt, who took so deep an interest in the religious education of the 
young, could not do otherwise than regard them as of inestimable value. 
An enemy of the truth would naturally disavow them. — The Formula of 
Concord — the last of the series of Lutheran Confessions of Faith, and the 
one which Arndt appears to have prized most highly — was intended, as we 
have shown above, to determine various important points involved in the 
controversies which had arisen in the bosom of the Lutheran Church 
before or at the time when he was born. The very circumstance that this 
Symbol was demanded by the exigencies of the Church, demonstrates that 
the Augsburg Confession was not originally designed to be a full and complete 
confession of faith, but only a statement of points discussed during the 
infancy of the Reformation. While it excludes every error which might 
dishonor God, and confirm the impenitent sinner in his evil course, it 
completes the previous Symbols, and forms with them an undivided and 
harmonious whole, exhibiting with brilliancy, power, and spotless purity 
the Person of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, and glorifies God alone. A 
confession of faith which so unreservedly unveils the fearful character of 
Original Sin, while it so fully explains and establishes the true doctrine of 
the Lord's Supper, would naturally be unwelcome to an impenitent heart; 
whereas, the devout Arndt found nothing in it but animating and heavenly 
truth. Hence he desired to be regarded as simply an Evangelical Lutheran 
Christian, — an adherent of the Formula of Concord. 

§ 26. Religion assumed an unusually attractive and beautiful form in 
Arndt, and is strikingly shadowed forth in his " True Christianity;" this 
work is an admirable portraiture of his inner man. He was naturally of 
a grave, but not by any means of an unsocial or gloomy disposition ; he 
would not otherwise have been styled "the Fenelon of Protestantism." 
Dr. Wildenhahn, whose charming work (entitled Johannes Arndt) embodies 
strictly accurate historical notices, and derives only subordinate matter, 
such as incidents in domestic life, conversations, etc., from analogy and a 
fruitful imagination, exhibits him in the true light, as an affectionate hus- 
band, a cheerful companion, a generous and self-sacrificing friend of the 
sick and the poor — in short, as a model in all the relations of life. There 



INTRODUCTION. 



XXYll 



is no exaggeration in this language. He possessed great firmness of char- 
acter; indeed, a truly heroic spirit dwelt in him. He manifested this trait 
on many trying occasions — not only when he preferred poverty and exile 
to a denial of a single Gospel truth or Lutheran usage, but also in many 
other scenes of conflict. The ravages of the pestilence could not alarm 
his heroic soul; the open and violent denunciations of enemies he always 
encountered in the spirit of Him who said : " If I have spoken evil, bear 
witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou me?" (John 18 : 23.) 
There was a certain calmness or gentleness in his manner of treating his 
enemies, which, combined with his earnestness and candor in repelling 
their calumnies, invariably subdued them. Love — love, not to the amia- 
ble and good, or to the poor and sorrowing alone, but also to his enemies 
— was too often and too variously manifested, to leave the spectator in 
doubt respecting its true source — a genuine faith in Christ, and deep, 
ardent love to Him. In truth, it is here that the peculiar type of his 
religion is seen ; he lived more in heaven than on earth. The sacerdotal 
prayer of Christ (John, Chap. 17) was an unfailing source of light, of hope, 
of peace and joy to his soul. Expressions like these : " As thou, Father, 
art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us" (ver. 21) — "I 
in them, and thou in me, etc." (ver. 28), and language like that of Paul : 
" Christ in you, etc." (Col. 1 : 27), furnished him virtually w T ith the for- 
mula : " Christ in me, and I in Christ." Such was his faith in Christ, and 
such was his love to Him, that he was always calm and hopeful. Hence 
features appeared in his religious character which his w T orldly-minded 
contemporaries could not fully appreciate; they w 7 ere formed by two dif- 
ferent series of Gospel doctrines, which cannot come in conflict, but whicb 
relate to two entirely different objects — Christ, the Saviour, and fallen 
man. No one more sincerely embraced the doctrine of Original Sin, as 
held by the Lutheran Church, than Arndt did ; of this his writings furnish 
the evidence. His own searching self-examination, constantly maintained 
in the light of Scripture, revealed to him the utter corruption of his own \/ 
heart by nature; he found nothing in himself but sin. He was conscious 
that he could do nothing without Christ, and deeply felt that grace — 
nothing but grace — could renew his nature, and save him. These convic- 
tions induced him to insist with such earnestness, in his Four Books, on 
the true and genuine repentance of the sinner. At the same time, there 
was nothing like sternness, gloom, or despondency connected with his 
sincere and profound self-abasement. For he received with equal strength 
of faith another series of truths — he believed with all his heart that " after 
the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by 
works of righteousness whicb we have done, but according to his mercy 
he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy 
Ghost ; w T hicb he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 
that being justified by his grace, w T e should be made heirs according to 



sxviii INTRODUCTION. 



the hope of eternal life." Tit. 3 : 4-7. Here a new tide of emotions flowed 
through his soul. Wonder, joy, gratitude, love, took possession of him. 
His large heart was full of happiness that the lost could be found and 
saved — that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Born. 
5 : 20. And now, when these two distinct principles appear in him in 
their practical union, the type of his religion is clearly developed. He 
was grave and earnest, humble, and free from all confidence in himself, 
for he was "by nature a child of wrath." Eph. 2 : 3. But, on the other 
hand, God had, in pity and in love, given him a Saviour, engrafted him 
in that Saviour through Holy Baptism, bestowed on him the fulness of 
grace, and invited him, as a repentant, believing, pardoned child of Adam, 
to enter heaven. If sin abounded through the first Adam, grace did, 
through the second Adam (1 Cor. 15 : 45), much more abound. His 
writings, therefore, now assume a very cheerful character — love is the 
prevailing theme. Nothing morose appears in them — sorrow for sin and 
repentance — faith in Christ and love to him, are his soul-inspiring themes, 
and a cheerful spirit, a sense of fervent, joyful gratitude to God, a heav- 
enly calm, pervade alike his heart and its language as uttered in the 
"True Christianity." 

§ 27. The essential features of vital godliness are always the same; yet 
"there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit." 1 Cor. 12: 4. Paul 
insists on faith ; John, on love. Luther's religion was, like that of Arndt, 
earnest, and } 7 et cheerful. Both were enabled by their personal experience 
to understand the nature of these Christian virtues, and also the distinc- 
tion between them. "Luther dwells with wonderful power on faith. Arndt 
delights to speak of God's love. There is something very beautiful in 
these different developments of true godliness in the servants of Christ, 
while the influences of the same divine Spirit controls them alike. 

§ 28. It would be an error to suppose that the whole world had risen up 
in arms against Arndt, after he had assumed his position as an humble 
and devout Christian. Vast numbers received his First Book on True 
Christianity with gratitude and joy. It enlightened their minds; it con- 
trolled the conscience; it diffused the warmth of life through their souls; 
and they thanked God that such a book, so full of love, had been given to 
the world. A comparatively small number of men rose up against him. 
Certain individuals, such as his colleague, Denecke, a co-pastor of the same 
congregation in Brunswick, were, no doubt, influenced by envy and per- 
sonal dislike. But others who opposed him, were by no means governed 
solely by unworthy personal considerations. Some of them were so 
much concerned about "questions and strifes of words" (1 Tim. 6:4), 
that they overlooked and misconceived the heavenly-mincledness of Arndt. 
Others, who did him injustice, were led astray by the infelicity of the times. 
We have already referred to the disastrous influences of the mysticism 
and fanaticism which, in addition to other corruptions of the true faith, had 



INTKODUCTIOST. xxix 



appeared about, and after, the period of the birth of Arndt. For instance, 
the Swiss physician, Paracelsus (who died as a Roman Catholic in 1541), 
had published various fantastic and mystical writings, in which he professed 
that he understood both mundane and supermundane mysteries. Isow a 
certain Lutheran pastor in Saxony , named Weigel, who died in 1588, and 
who had been confessedly a man of an upright walk and conversation, 
had yielded to a tendency to the mysticism and theosophy of Paracelsus. 
He was thus led theoretically to undervalue the doctrines of the church, 
and to represent them as merely allegorical forms, involving truths not 
known to ordinary men. The natural results of his theory, if its folly had 
not been exposed, would unquestionably have seriously affected the au- 
thority of the written Word. Before his writings w r ere published, a friend 
had communicated to Arndt a short extract from them, which contained 
none of his errors; the author's name had been withheld. Arndt, in his 
innocence, inserted the passage in his book, and was thus burdened with 
the odium of all the Weigelian errors ; but he was subsequently released 
from all censure, and his freedom from anything like the mysticism of 
Weigel was generally conceded. 

§ 29. Another ground of the charge of mysticism which his opponents 
advanced, w r as found in his repeated references in the " True Chris- 
tianity" to Tauler. Here, too, Arndt made a brilliant defence, by quot- 
ing the great Luther as his authority. The latter had obtained possession 
of a manuscript without a title or an author's name, which deeply in- 
terested him. It dwelt entirely on the communion of the soul with God, 
and on kindred topics. Luther, whose godliness was healthy and sound, 
was so much charmed with the work, that he published a part of it at 
Wittenberg in 1516, and prefixed the title: "A spiritual, noble little 
work, explaining the distinction between the old and the new man; 
showing, also, who are the children of Adam and the children of God, 
and how Adam must die in us, and Christ live in us." During the course 
of the next year he published the whole work, with an extended Preface 
of his own, and adopted the title : " A German Theology " ; this general 
title it has since retained. It was received with unbounded favor, and 
circulated rapidly throughout Europe, for instance, in three Euglish, seven 
Latin, four French, etc., translations, besides numerous editions of the 
original German. It was supposed to have been written by Tauler, a 
very devout man, who was born in the year 1290. His religious tenden- 
cies led him, like Luther, to enter a monastery. The sermons and other 
writings which he left behind, while their general character assign to him 
a place among those who are denominated " Mystics," nevertheless 
abound in holy and devout aspirations, and were dictated by a spirit that 
sought and found peace in the grace of God alone. — Arndt entertained the 
opinion that the " German Theology" was a production of his pen, and 
so represents the case in his " True Christianity." It is now, however, 



xxx INTRODUCTION. 



generally conceded, in consequence of an allusion in the work itself to 
Tauler as a religious teacher of an earlier day, that another person, be- 
longing to a later period, was the writer; his name is still involved in 
impenetrable darkness. — So, too, it is by no means certain that Thomas d 
Kempis (born in 1380), was the author of the popular book "On the Imi- 
tation of Christ," of which more than two thousand editions in the origi- 
nal language, more than one thousand in French, besides innumerable 
others in German, English, etc., have been published. The historical 
arguments, adduced chiefly by French writers, intended to support the 
claims of the eminent Gerson (born in 1363), as the author, although not 
entirely conclusive, are still possessed of great weight. — Arndt incident- 
ally remarks in a brief statement respecting the " German Theology," 
that his copy, printed at Wittenberg in 1520, contained simply the remark 
that the book had been written by a devout priest of the city of Frank- 
fort, for devotional purposes, but the author's name was withheld. If 
Luther sanctioned the publication of the "German Theology," Arndt 
could calmly listen to those who censured him for adopting a similar 
course. Those extracts at least, which he furnishes in the " True Chris- 
tianity," are, unquestionably, evangelical and truly edifying. 

§ 30. It will, perhaps, gratify the reader to observe the skill with which 
Wildenhahn, to whom we have already referred, illustrates the childlike 
simplicity of Arndt's character, by combining fiction with truth. During 
his Brunswick pastorate, the City Council of Halberstadt sent him an 
urgent call to become the successor of the deceased Rev. D. Sachse, as 
pastor of the church of St. Martin in that city. After he had consulted 
with his intelligent wife, who, like himself, was anxious to withdraw to 
any spot where peace could be found, he resolved to accept the call; and, 
in accordance with custom and law, applied to the Brunswick City Coun- 
cil for letters of honorable dismission. When the question was to be 
decided, Arndt appeared in the presence of the burgomaster, Kale, the 
syndic, Dr. Roerhand, and other members of the Council, and renewed 
his request. These details are historically true. Wildenhahn now sub- 
joins the following: "Tell me honestly," said the syndic to him, "have 
you really, as you allege, taken no steps whatever, in order to obtain this 
call from Halberstadt?" "ISTot a single step," said Arndt, in a solemn 
manner, with his right hand on his heart, "the whole is altogether and 
exclusively a work of God." But at the moment when he pronounced 
this solemn declaration, it became evident to those who were present, that 
a sudden thought had startled him; he changed color; he began to 
tremble; he suddenly covered his eyes with his left hand. Then, with a 
voice betraying deep emotion, he added: " Gentlemen, I have borne false 
witness! I really did do something to obtain this call." "Ah!" said 
Kale quickly, delighted, as it seemed, to find an opportunity for displaying 
his official dignity, " You did? Pray, tell us what it was." "I prayed 



INTRODUCTION. xxxi 



to the blessed Lord with tears, that he would assign to me some other 
spot in his vineyard, no matter how insignificant, if I could only there 
preach his word in peace." "And was that all ?" inquired the burgo- 
master, much surprised, and speaking in more gentle tones. " That was 
all," replied Arndt, "and this is true, as God lives! But, doubtless, I 
erred here, in impatiently attempting to dictate to God, etc." Such sim- 
plicity of character, such perfect ingenuousness, such a wonderful freedom 
from artifice and disguise, completely disarmed the members of the 
Council. They now understood better than previously the artlessness 
and spirituality of the man before them, and, after that scene, they ac- 
corded to him entire esteem and confidence. 

§ 31. The great work of Arndt — the " True Christianity," has probably 
never had its equal as a popular book of devotion. Tholuck relates the 
following anecdote as an illustration of the manner in which even Papists 
could appreciate the merits of the work. When Prof. Anton, of Halle, 
visited Madrid in 1687, he examined the library of the Jesuits, and inci- 
dentally inquired of the librarian respecting the ascetic writer whom they 
esteemed more than other authors of devotional works. The latter ex- 
hibited a Latin book, the title-page and last leaves of which were wanting, 
and declared that it was the most edifying work which they possessed. 
When Anton examined it, he discovered that it was a translation of 
Arndt's " True Christianity " \ It is only common justice to allow the 
author to state the objects which he had in view, in preparing the work. 
The following passage occurs in a letter which he addressed in the last 
year of his life to Duke Augustus the Younger, of Brunswick : " In the 
first place, I wished to withdraw the minds of students and preachers 
from an inordinate controversial and polemic theology, which has well- 
nigh assumed the form of an earlier scholastic theology. Secondly, I pur- 
posed to conduct Christian believers from lifeless thoughts to such as 
might bring forth fruit. Thirdly, I wished to guide them onward from 
mere science and theory, to the actual practice of faith and godliness; 
and, fourthly, to show them wherein a truly Christian life consists, which 
accords with the true faith, as well as to explain the apostle's meaning 
when he says : ' I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me,' etc." (Gal. 
2 : 20.) 

§ 32. The Rev. Dr. Seiss, the author of "Ecclesia Lutherana, etc.," to 
whose endeavors the religious public is mainly indebted for the appear- 
ance of the present edition, remarks in a recent notice of the work : 
" This is one of the very greatest and most useful practical books pro- 
duced by Protestantism. Though written more than two hundred and 
fifty years ago, it is still unsurpassed in its department. It stands out 
with marked and superior distinction in the modern ages. Next to the 
Bible and Luther's Small Catechism, it has been more frequently printed, 
more widely read, and more influential for good, than any other book, 

C 



xxxii INTKODUCTION. 



perhaps, that has ever been written. Boehm has not exaggerated, when 
he says that its effects, in the conversion of souls, has been such, that an 
account of them would make a history in itself. Eor can any one can- 
didly read it, without finding on every page, scintillations of the sunlike 
splendors of a mind bathed in the purity, wisdom, and love of heaven." 
Mr. Boehm, in the Preface to his translation (which is the basis both of 
the revision of Mr. Jacques, and of the present edition), remarks, that 
among the learned men in Great Britain, who had read the Latin transla- 
tion, the distinguished Dr. Worthington had assigned the first rank among 
devotional writers to Arndt, and quotes the enthusiastic terms in which 
he extols that "faithful servant of God, John Arndt." And Mr. Jacques 
closes the Preface to his revision with the following words : " Divines of 
all communions and persuasions, have united in their admiration of this 
delightful production. The late learned Dr. Edward Williams has in- 
serted it in his valuable Appendix to the Christian Preacher : and the 
Rev. John Wesley made a most copious extract from it, comprised in 
Yol. I. and II. of his Christian Library." 

§ 33. And truly God did not design this great work solely for the com- 
fort and aid of the German nation during the Thirty Years' War (1618- 
1648), but for all nations and all times. It has been translated into the 
Latin, Danish, Swedish, Bohemian, Polish, Low Dutch, English, French, 
Turkish, Russian, Malabar, Tamul, etc., languages. At least two edi- 
tions of the work in a Latin translation were published in England; the 
last appeared in 1708, with the following title : " Joannis Arndtii, Theolo- 
gici, etc. : De vero Christianismo. Libri IY. Cura et studio A. W. Boemi. 
Lond. 1708." 2 vols. 8vo. — Another Latin edition was published in Ger- 
many in 1624. The Tamul translation had the following Latin title: "De 
vero Christianismo, in Tamulicum convertit Benjamin Schulzius, Mis- 
sionarius Evangelicus."* 

§ 34. The work had made so deep an impression on learned British 
Christians, who read it in Latin, that the wish was repeatedly and earn- 
estly expressed that it might be made accessible to English readers. At 
this period, that is, during the reign of Queen Anne of England (who 
died in 1714), large numbers of German emigrants from the Palatinate 
passed through England on their way to the provinces of New York and 



* The first Latin translation, published at Leipsic in 1704, was prepared by the joint labors 
of Dr. J. G. Dorscheus and Dr. J. G. Pritius. (The latter published about the same time his 
Introductio in lectionem N. T., etc., which was highly valued, and passed through several edi- 
tions ; our own copy is dated 1737.) An extended Preface was furnished by Pritius. The 
whole is presented in a single and very clumsy volume. — The Latin translation published by 
Mr. Boehm in London, 1708, and dedicated to his patron, Prince George, appeared in two 
neat und convenient volumes, and is far superior to the continental edition. Copies of these 
editions, which are now rarely to be found, were obtained by us from the very rich collection 
of such works, belonging to Kev. Dr. C. P. Krauth, of West Philadelphia. 



INTRODUCTION. xxxiii 



Pennsylvania. The Rev. Anthony William Boehm, a German Lutheran 
clergyman, had previously been appointed as the court chaplain of Prince 
George of Denmark, the consort of Queen Anne. His enlightened zeal 
and devout heart led him to take a deep interest, not only in the tem- 
poral, but also in the spiritual welfare of these pilgrims, who were on 
their way to the wilds of North America. He accordingly supplied them, 
by the aid of certain like-minded friends, with German Bibles and Hymn 
Books, and also with German copies of Arndt's " True Christianity," as 
well as with other books of devotion. This interesting fact is men- 
tioned in the letters of Dr. Muhlenberg, published in the well-known 
Halle Reports (Hallische Nachrichten, pp. 665, 793). But Mr. Boehm also 
resolved to furnish the people, in the midst of whom he lived, with the 
great work of his favorite author, in their own language, and accordingly 
prepared an English translation, which was first printed in London 
in 1712. 

§ 35. It would be unjust to the memory of this excellent man, if we 
should fail to refer to his literary labors. His high office at the royal 
court of England, is an evidence of his personal merit. He was not only 
a devout and faithful preacher of the Gospel, but also an author who 
acquired distinction. In 1734 he published a very valuable work in the 
German language, entitled: "Eight Books, on the Reformation of the 
Church in England, extending from the year 1526, under Henry VIII., to 
the reign of Charles II." In a very beautiful eulogy, in manuscript, 
found in the volume before us, the writer refers to the successful efforts 
of Mr. Boehm to provide for the education of the children of the poor in 
his vicinity. He died May 27, 1722, in his fiftieth year, after having faith- 
fully labored in the service of Christ. He sustained, with eminent success, 
the Danish Lutheran missionaries in Tranquebar, by sending pecuniary 
aid obtained in London, as well as religious publications. Besides his 
great German historical work, which is the complement of Burnet's "His- 
tory of the Reformation of the Church of England," he also published 
several English compositions, such as a " Sermon on the doctrine of Orig- 
inal Sin, Eph. 4: 22," printed in London, 1711, and a "Sermon on the 
Duty of the Reformation (Jubilee), Rev. 18 : 4," London, 1718, besides 
various religious works in the German language. 

§ 36. About the beginning of the present century, the Rev. Calvin 
Chaddock, who resided in Hanover, Massachusetts, obtained a copy of 
Mr. Boehm's translation, "accidentally," as he says, and found it to be so 
valuable, that he resolved to issue an American edition, which accordingly 
appeared in 1809, Boston. In his short Preface he remarks, with great 
truth, that the language of the translation "appears to be somewhat an- 
cient, and the sentiments in some few instances obscure." He adds, in 
reference to his own agency : " The only alterations which have been made, 
are such as respect redundant and obsolete words, orthography, the addi- 



xxxiv INTRODUCTION. 



tion of some words, and the transposition of some sentences; that the ideas 
of the translator might appear more conspicuous." He might have, with 
great advantage, been even more liberal than he was, in correcting the 
style; it still remained in numerous passages heavy and obscure. As the 
style, even of the original German, is somewhat antiquated, and as, besides, 
occasional obscurities and repetitions occur, a later successor in one of 
Arndt's pastoral charges, the Rev. J. F. Fedderson, assumed the task of 
revising and abridging the whole of the original German, improving or 
modernizing the style, and occasionally adding new matter. The result 
of his labors does not appear to have received the entire approbation of 
the German religious world; the original and unaltered work continues 
so popular, that no permanent place has been, secured for the substitute. 
A portion of Fedderson's production was translated and published in 
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in 1834, by the Rev. John N. Hoffman, 
Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran congregation of that place. The 
translation was never completed. The part which was given, consisting 
mainly of Book I., has long since been out of print. 

§ 37. In the year 1815, a new edition of Mr. Boehm's English transla- 
tion was issued in London (evidently without any reference to Mr. Chad- 
dock's American edition), by William Jacques, A.M., who had already 
distinguished himself by his translation, from the Latin, of A. H. Francke's 
"Guide to the Reading and Study of the Holy Scriptures," of which a re- 
print, in a very unattractive form, and with omissions, appeared in Phila- 
delphia, in 1823. He took Mr. Boehm's translation as the "ground-work," 
which, as he states in his Preface, he did not "edit either hastily or neg- 
ligently. There is not a single page, nor a single paragraph," he contin- 
ues, "which has not been subjected to scrutiny," etc. Nevertheless, Mr. 
Jacques, who does not appear to have compared the translation with the 
original German, made only verbal changes, which, as it is evident, ma- 
terially improve the style. But he allowed all the additions of Mr. Boehm, 
which are generally quite tautological, and various inaccuracies in thought 
and expression to remain. So many antiquated expressions were retained, 
that it would have been inexpedient to reprint the work precisely as Mr. 
Jacques allowed the text to remain. Besides, he curtailed the full titles 
of the several chapters, and, with very fev^ exceptions, omitted the impor- 
tant and appropriate texts which Arndt had prefixed respectively to the 
latter. These circumstances, in connection with others, such as numerous 
typographical errors, especially in the Scripture references, plainly indi- 
cated that a revision of the whole was necessary, before the present edition 
could be presented to the public. 

§ 38. The editor of the present American edition took that of Mr. 
Jacques as the basis of the translation, but compared every sentence with 
the original German. He found some cases in which valuable matter had 
been omitted, and was occasionally required to supply sentences that had 



INTRODUCTION. 



XXXV 



been mutilated or suppressed. But he erased all the verbal additions, and 
the clauses, or sentences, inserted by Mr. Boehm, where it seemed to have 
been the object of the latter only to explain remarks that were already 
perfectly lucid, or to add emphasis by the insertion of adjectives, etc., or 
else to impart beauty by the adoption of poetical terms or phrases, which 
were inconsistent with the severe simplicity of Arndt's style. He even 
represents the author, on one occasion, as quoting from the "Homilies" 
of the Church of England, which Arndt undoubtedly never read, and cer- 
tainly does not mention in the original. The American editor has, also, 
at the request of several friends, who took an interest in securing the pub- 
lication of the present edition, prepared a somewhat copious Ikdex. One 
of the Latin editions (London, 1708) contains an index, adapted only to its 
own pages. Another, in German, is found in some of the German editions, 
for instance, in that of Nuremberg, 1762, also adapted to the pages of the 
particular edition only. As the American editor found none in English, 
and preferred to adapt the new Index, prepared by him, to the work itself 
(specifying the Book, Chapter, and Section), he accordingly completed his 
task on this plan, after a considerable expenditure of time and labor. It is 
somewhat difficult to prepare an Index for a work which is so exclusively 
devotional in its character as the present, and in which the author does 
not intend to discuss subjects in a strictly scientific manner. Arndt, for 
instance, employs terms which, when defined with precision, indicate dif- 
ferent shades of thought, almost as if they were synonymous (e. g., 
the grace, mercy, goodness, love, etc., of God), and often repeats the same 
thought in different language. For this we can easily account, when we 
recollect that the materials of the work were taken from a series of popu- 
lar sermons of the author, delivered at intervals. The editor allows him- 
self to hope that the Index which he has prepared, may occasionally be of 
service to the reader. 

§ 39. But even after having made numerous changes on every page of the 
old translation before him, the American editor is conscious that a critical 
eye will discover many imperfections in the style. It is often antiquated 
and heavy, and sometimes even quaint. Nevertheless, in all these in- 
stances he allowed the English text to remain as he found it, content- 
ing himself wüth the correction of orthographical and syntactical inaccu- 
racies, the rectification of Scripture references, the errors in which he 
found to be unusually numerous, the correction of quotations in accord- 
ance with the authorized English version of the Bible, in the many cases 
in which Mr. Boehm, or one of his assistants, translated from Luther's 
German version, or quoted the English version from memory, etc., etc. 

§ 40. It is eminently proper that a new edition of Arndt's "True Chris- 
tianity" should appear during the present Jubilee year of the Evangelical 
Lutheran Church, and that it should be undertaken and conducted to a 
successful issue by members of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Penn- 



xxxvi INTRODUCTION. 



sylvania. The deep spirituality of Arndt, and his active and pure faith, 
can be fully understood and appreciated only when we reflect on the doc- 
trinal system to which he had given his heart, and to which we have 
referred above. This orthodox system found no favor, at a later period, 
among the Rationalists; they rejected the doctrines of the Bible respect- 
ing the depravity of human nature, the divinity of Christ, the efficacy of 
the divinely appointed means of grace, and similar truths, and grievously 
complained of the violence which, as they treacherously alleged, was of- 
fered to their conscience, when the demand was made, that if they claimed 
to belong to the Lutheran Church, to occupy its pulpits, and to receive 
their support from it, they ought also to adopt its faith. Their influence 
is happily decaying in Europe, and the restoration of the doctrines of the 
Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church to authority, is 
coincident with the new and healthy religious life of the Lutheran Church 
in Germany, Hungary, Scandinavia, and Russia. The sincere Christian, 
John Arndt, whom we heard protesting before God, with his last breath, 
as described above, that he believed only the doctrines of the Symbolical 
Books of the Lutheran Church, and all those doctrines, little thought that 
more than two centuries afterwards, in the remote Western continent of 
America, men would arise who would not only reject with scorn " all the 
other Symbolical Books," which he revered, but also speak contemptu- 
ously of the Augsburg Confession and its holy doctrines. 

§ 41. The doctrinal system which Arndt so sincerely revered, was 
brought to this country by the Lutheran pastors who visited our shores 
at a very early period. Dr. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, an eminently 
enlightened and holy man, was enabled, by his well-disciplined mind and 
great administrative powers, to create order among the scattered Luther- 
ans whom he found in this country. He was exceedingly zealous in main- 
taining the purity of the Lutheran faith, to which he owed all his peace 
•and his hopes. He gave unusual prominence to the Symbolical Books — 
to all of them, mentioned by name — in the various constitutions of con- 
gregations organized or influenced by him, and very properly claimed 
that none who rejected them could honestly bear the name of Lutherans. 
We will give only one illustration, of many which might be adduced, to 
show the fidelity with which he held to the Lutheran Symbolical Books, as 
enumerated by Arndt in the last paragraph of his Preface to Book I., in 
this volume. Dr. Muhlenberg states in an official Report for the year 
1747, which he transmitted to Halle {Hall Nachr., pp. 234, 235), that he 
had visited a congregation in Maryland, in which great dissensions pre- 
vailed at the time, occasioned by efforts made by certain individuals to 
alienate the Lutherans from their faith and church. He says, "Before we 
commenced public worship, I asked for the Church Record, and wrote 
certain propositions and articles in it in the English language, and among 
other statements, made the following: That our German Lutherans held 



INTRODUCTION. xxxvii 



to the holy Word of God, in the prophetic and apostolical writings; fur- 
ther, to the unaltered Augsburg Confession, and the other Symbolical 
Books, etc.* I then read the same publicly to the congregation, and ex- 
plained it to them in the German language, and added, that every one 
who desired to be, and to remain, such a Lutheran, should subscribe his 
name." He informs us that the genuine Lutherans readily subscribed; 
the rest, who had unlutheran sympathies, withheld their names. 

§ 42. An unhappy change occurred after Dr. Muhlenberg's day. The 
Symbolical Books, which he and his contemporaries received, believed, 
and sustained in their whole extent, with religious veneration, existed at 
that time only in Latin and German. They gradually receded from the 
view of many pastors of the church; individuals were received into the 
ranks of the ministry, who had never studied them; doctrines and usages, 
hitherto unknown to the church, were introduced into many Lutheran 
congregations. At one period several of the most intelligent pastors 
yielded, to a certain extent, to rationalistic influences; then, the opposite 
extreme, of fanaticism, gained adherents; both rationalism and fanaticism 
were alike hostile to "the unaltered Augsburg Confession and the other 
Symbolical Books/' and a strange combination of elements, derived partly 
from rationalism, and partly from fanaticism, temporarily held sway. 
Dependence was now placed on human measures and inventions, de- 
signed for the conversion of sinners and the edification of believers, 
rather than on the divinely appointed means of grace, which men like 
Arndt and Muhlenberg recognized as the only channels through which 
the Divine Spirit exercises his influence. If they had lived among us 
during the second, third, and fourth decades of this century, when their 
doctrines, and their mode of preaching, were regarded by many as anti- 
quated, or un suited to a supposed higher grade of religious development, 
they would have readily predicted the results — fanaticism, latitudiuarian- 
ism in doctrine, an evanescent emotional religion, and, by consequence, 
the rejection, in whole or in part, of the Augsburg Confession and the 
other Symbolical Books. 

§ 43. God, in his mercy, has interposed. The doctrines which Arndt, 
Muhlenberg, and men of the old faith, regarded as the life-blood of a 
healthy, scriptural religion, are regaining their authority. Many still 



* The term "871111)01" — a word derived from the Greek — was applied, at a very early 
period of the Christian Church, by Greek-speaking Christians, to the "Apostles' Creed," in 
the sense of a "token or mark of recognition." He who knew and adopted that Creed, 
viewed thus as a symbol, was recognized as a Christian ; he who knew it not, or who rejected 
it, was not a Christian, but a Jew or heathen. After diverse creeds had been formed and 
adopted in the course of time, the word Symbol was retained, as applicable to a particular 
creed or confession of faith. Hence the term "Symbols," or its equivalent, "Symbolical 
Books," was gradually applied to the several Lutheran Creeds which Arndt mentions with 
such reverence and love, as we have seen above. 



xxxviii INTKODUCTION. 



reject them ; the old faith of the church — Bible truth, is unwelcome to an 
ignorant, rationalistic, and unconverted heart. But others have been 
taught by observation and experience that mere human measures and in- 
ventions cannot conduct to a healthy and permanent religion, and that 
divine truth, as taught in the Scriptures, and set forth in our Symbolical 
Books, and the other means of grace given to the Church by its divine 
Head, are the only sources from which such a healthy religion can pro- 
ceed. In this spirit Arndt wrote the "True Christianity," and by this 
spirit the Synod of Pennsylvania is animated. This ecclesiastical body 
desires to take away all glory from man, and to give it all to Christ. 
One of the results of its attachment to our ancient and holy faith, is the 
publication of the present volume, in which the author so eloquently and 
affectionately urges all men to repent, to believe in Christ, and to lead a 
holy life. 

§ 44. The divine blessing has so remarkably attended the use of Arndt's 
" True Christianity," in the original language, and in its various transla- 
tions, that the present editor humbly entertains the hope that the time 
and labor expended by him in preparing this new edition, may also be of 
avail. And he prays that the " True Christianity" may continue the work 
which it has already performed, and instruct, guide, and comfort anew 
the souls of its readers, to the praise and glory of God. 

C. F. S. 

Philadelphia, August, 1868. 



THE AUTHOR'S 
PREFACE TO THE FIRST BOOK. 



CHRISTIAN READER! That the 
holy Gospel is subjected, in our 
age, to a great and shameful abuse, is 
fully proved by the ungodly and im- 
penitent life of those who loudly boast 
of Christ and of his word, while their 
unchristian life resembles that of per- 
sons who dwell in a land of heathens 
and not of Christians. Such an un- 
godly course of conduct furnished me 
with an occasion for writing this Trea- 
tise ; it was my object to show to plain 
readers wherein true Christianity con- 
sists, namely, in the exhibition of a 
true, living, and active faith, which 
manifests itself in genuine godliness 
and the fruits of righteousness. I de- 
sired to show that we bear the name 
of Christians, not only because we 
ought to believe in Christ, but also 
because the name implies that we live 
in Christ, and that He lives in us. I 
further desired to show that true re- 
pentance proceeds from the inmost 
centre of the heart; that the heart, 
mind, and affections must be changed ; 
that we must be conformed to Christ 
and his holy Gospel; and that we must 
be renewed by the word of God, and 
become new creatures. For even as 
every seed produces fruit of a like 
nature, so the word of God must daily 
produce in us new spiritual fruits. If 
we become new creatures by faith, 
we must live in accordance with our 
new birth. In a word, Adam must 
die, and Christ must live, in us. It is 
not sufficient to acquire a knowledge 



of the word of God ; it is also our duty 
to obey it practically, with life and 
power. 

2. There are many who suppose 
that Theology is merely a science, or 
an art of words, whereas it is a living 
experience and practical exercise. — 
Every one now aims at acquiring emi- 
nence and distinction in the world; 
but no one is willing to learn how to 
be devout. Every one now seeks out 
men of great learning, who can teach 
arts, languages, and wisdom ; but no 
one is willing to learn from our only 
Teacher, Jesus Christ, how to become 
meek and sincerely humble; and yet 
His holy and living example is the 
true rule for our life and conduct, and, 
indeed, constitutes the highest wisdom 
and knowledge; so that we can with 
truth declare, " The pure life of Christ 
opens all knowledge to us." 

3. Every one is very willing to be a 
servant of Christ; but no one will con- 
sent to be his follower. And yet he 
says: "If any man serve me, let him 
follow me." John 12 : 26. Hence, he 
who truly serves and loves Christ, 
will also follow him ; and he who loves 
Christ, will also love the example of 
his holy life, his humility, meekness, 
patience, as well as the cross, shame, 
and contempt which he endured, al- 
though the flesh may thereby suffer 
pain. And although we cannot, in 
our present weakness, perfectly imi- 
tate the holy and exalted life of Christ 
(which, indeed, is not intended in my 

( xxxix ) 



xl 



PEEFACE TO THE FIEST BOOK. 



Book), nevertheless, we ought to love 
it, and long to imitate it more fully; 
for thus we live in Christ, and Christ 
lives in us, according to the words of 
St. John : " He that saith he abideth 
in him ought himself also so to walk, 
even as he walked." 1 John 2:6. It 
is now the disposition of the world to 
acquire a knowledge of all things ; but 
that which is better than all other 
knowledge, namely, " to know the 
love of Christ" (Eph. 3 : 19), no one 
desires to acquire. But no man can 
love Christ, who does not imitate his 
holy life. There are many — a major- 
ity, indeed, of men in this world — who 
are ashamed of the holy example of 
Christ, namely, of his humility and 
lowly condition; that is, they are 
ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ; of 
them he says : " Whosoever shall be 
ashamed of me and of my words, in 
this adulterous and sinful generation, 
of him also shall the Son of man be 
ashamed," etc. Mark 8 : 38. Christians 
now desire a Christ of imposing ap- 
pearance, who is magnificent, rich, 
and conformed to the world; but no 
one desires to receive, to confess, and 
to follow the poor, meek, despised, 
and lowly Christ. He will, therefore, 
hereafter say: "I never knew you" 
(Matt. 7 : 23); ye were not willing to 
know me in my humility, and there- 
fore I do not know you in your pride. 
4. Not only, however, is ungodli- 
ness, in all its forms, at variance with 
Christ and true Christianity, but it is 
also the cause of the daily accumula- 
tion of the displeasure of God, and of 
the penalties which he inflicts; inso- 
much that he fits all creatures to be 
avengers, and that heaven and earth, 
fire and water, are made to contend 
against us; so that all nature is there- 
by sorely distressed, and well-nigh 
overwhelmed. Hence, a season of af- 



fliction must be expected; war, fam- 
ine, and pestilence; yea, the last 
plagues are coming in with such vio- 
lence, that we are exposed to the as- 
saults of nearly every creature. For 
even as the terrible plagues of the 
Egyptians overtook them before the 
redemption and departure of the chil- 
dren of Israel from Egypt, so, too, 
before the redemption of the children 
of God occurs, dreadful and unheard- 
of plagues will overtake the ungodly 
and impenitent. It is therefore high 
time to repent, to begin another course 
of life, to turn from the world to Christ, 
to believe truly in him, and to lead a 
Christian life in him, so that we may 
securely "dwell in the secret place of 
the Most High, and abide under the 
shadow of the Almighty." Ps. 91 : 1. 
Such is also the exhortation of the 
Lord: "Watch ye therefore, and pray 
always, that ye may be accounted 
worthy to escape all these things." 
Luke 21 : 36. The same is also testi- 
fied in Ps. 112 : 7. 

5. Now, to this end, my Christian 
reader, this Book may, to a certain 
extent, serve thee as a guide, show- 
ing thee not only how thou mayest, 
through faith in Christ, obtain the re- 
mission of thy sins, but also how thou 
mayest avail thyself of the grace of 
God, in order to lead a holy life; and 
how thou mayest demonstrate and 
adorn thy faith by a Christian walk 
and conversation. For true Christi- 
anity consists, not in words, nor in 
any external show, but in a living 
faith, from which proceed fruits meet 
for repentance, and all manner of 
Christian virtues, as from Christ him- 
self. For as faith is hidden from hu- 
man view, and is invisible, it must be 
manifested by its fruits; inasmuch as 
faith derives from Christ all that is 
good, righteous, and blessed. 



PEEFACE TO THE FIEST BOOK. 



xli 



6. Now, when faith waits for the 
blessings which are promised to it, 
the offspring of this faith is hope. For 
what else is hope but a constant and 
persevering expectation, in faith, of 
the blessings which are promised? 
Bat when faith communicates to a 
neighbor the blessings which it has it- 
self received, love is the offspring of 
such a faith, imparting to the neigh- 
bor that which it has itself received 
from God; and when faith endures 
the trial of the cross, and submits to 
the will of God, it brings forth pa- 
tience. But when it sighs under the 
burden of the cross, or offers thanks 
to God for mercies which it has re- 
ceived, it gives birth to prayer. When 
it compares the power of God, on the 
one hand, with the misery of man, on 
the other, and submits unresistingly 
to the will of God, humility is the fruit. 
And when this faith diligently labors 
that it may not lose the grace of God, 
or, as St. Paul says: " worketh out 
salvation with fear and trembling" 
(Phil. 2 : 12), then the fear of God is 
the result. 

7. Thus thou seest that all the 
Christian virtues are the offspring of 
faith, proceed from faith, and cannot 
be separated from faith, their common 
source, if they are indeed genuine, 
living, and Christian virtues, proceed- 
ing ultimately from God, from Christ, 
and from the Holy Spirit. Hence no 
work can be acceptable to God with- 
out faith in Christ. For how can true 
hope, sincere love, persevering pa- 
tience, earnest prayer, Christian hu- 
mility, and a childlike fear of God, 
exist without faith? All must be 
drawn from Christ, the well of salva- 
tion (Isa. 12 : 3), through faith, as 
well righteousness, as all the fruits 
of righteousness. But take great 
care, my reader, that thou do not 



connect thy works, the virtues which 
thou hast commenced to practise, or 
the gifts of the new life, with thy jus- 
tification before God. For in this 
matter, man's works, merit, gifts, and 
virtue, however lovely these may ap- 
pear to be, have no efficacy; our justi- 
fication depends solely on the exalted 
and perfect merit of Jesus Christ, ap- 
prehended by faith, even as it is set 
forth in Chap. V, XIX, XXXIV. and 
XLI, of this Book, and in the first 
three chapters of Book II. Take great 
care, therefore, not to confound the 
righteousness of faith, on the one 
hand, and the righteousness of a 
Christian life, on the other; but rather 
to make a clear distinction between 
them; for here the whole foundation 
of our Christian religion is involved. 
Still, thy repentance must be the great 
concern of thy life, for otherwise thou 
hast no true faith, such as daily puri- 
fies, changes, and amends the heart. 
Thou must, moreover, know that the 
consolations of the Gospel cannot be 
effectually applied, unless they have 
been preceded by a genuine godly sor- 
row, the result of which is a bruised 
and contrite heart; for we read that 
"to the poor the gospel is preached." 
Luke 7 : 22. How, indeed, can faith 
give life to the heart, unless that heart 
has been previously put to death by 
sincere sorrow and a thorough knowl- 
edge of sin? Do not, therefore, im- 
agine that repentance is a slight and 
easy work. Eemember the solemn 
and severe language of the Apostle 
Paul, when he commands us to mortify 
and crucify the flesh, with the affec- 
tions and lusts, to offer the body as a 
sacrifice, to die unto sin, to be cruci- 
fied unto the world. Col. 3:5; Eom. 
6:6; 12 : 1; 1 Pet. 2: 24; Gal. 5: 24; 
6 : 14. Truly, none of these things 
can result, when we gratify the flesh. 



xlii 



PEEFACE TO THE FIEST BOOK. 



ÜSTor do the holy prophets employ 
cheerful terms when they call for a 
contrite and broken heart, and say: 
"Bend your heart — weep and lament/' 
Joel 2 : 13, 17; Jer. 4 : 8. But where 
is such repentance now exhibited ? 
The Lord Jesus Christ, when alluding 
to if, demands that we should deny 
ourselves, and renounce all that we 
have, if we desire to be his disciples. 
Luke 9 : 23; Matt. 16 : 24. Yerily, all 
this can never proceed from a gay, 
trifling, and light mind; of this the 
evidence may be found in the seven 
Penitential Psalms of David. The 
Scriptures abound in illustrations of 
the jealousy of God, who demands 
both repentance and its fruits, with- 
out which eternal salvation cannot be 
obtained. But afterwards the conso- 
lations of the Gospel manifest their 
power. And both such repentance, 
and such consolation, are solely the 
work of the Spirit of God, through 
the Word. 

8. Now this Book which I have 
written, specially treats of such sin- 
cere and earnest repentance of the 
heart, of the exhibition of faith in the 
life and conduct, and of the spirit of 
love which should animate all the acts 
of the Christian; for that which pro- 
ceeds from Christian love, is, at the 
same time, the fruit of faith. It is 
true that I have referred to some ear- 
lier writers, such as Tauler, Thomas a 
Kempis, and others, who may seem to 
ascribe more than is due to human 
ability and works; but my whole Book 
is designed to counteract such an 
error. I would, therefore, kindly re- 
quest the Christian reader to remem- 
ber the great object for which I wrote 
this Book. He will find that its main 
purpose is this: To teach the reader 
how to perceive the hidden and con- 
nate abomination of Original Sin; to 



set forth distinctly our misery and 
helplessness; to teach us to put no 
trust in ourselves or our ability; to 
take away everything from ourselves, 
and to ascribe all to Christ, so that He 
alone may dwell in us, work all things 
in us, alone live in us, and create all 
things in us, because he is the begin- 
ning, middle, and end, of our conver- 
sion and salvation. All this has been 
plainly and abundantly explained in 
many passages of this Book; and, at 
the same time, the doctrines of the 
Papists, Synergists, and Majorists, 
have been expressly refuted and re- 
jected. The doctrine, moreover, of 
justification by faith, has been set 
forth in this Book, and especially in 
Book IL, in the most pointed and ex- 
plicit manner. In order, however, to 
obviate all misapprehensions, I have 
subjected the present edition to a very 
careful revision, and I beg the reader 
to receive the editions which have ap- 
peared in Frankfort and other places, 
in the sense in which the present 
Magdeburg edition is to be received. 
I also affirm, that this Book, as well 
in all other articles and points, as also 
in the articles of Free Will, and of the 
Justification of a poor sinner before 
God, is not to be understood in any 
other manner than in accordance with 
the Symbolical Books of the churches 
of the Augsburg Confession, namely, 
the first Unaltered Augsburg Con- 
fession, the Apology, the Smalcald 
Articles, the Two Catechisms of Lu- 
ther, and the Formula of Concord. 

May God enlighten us all by his 
Holy Spirit, so that we ma}^ be sin- 
cere and without offence, both in our 
faith and in our life, till the day of 
Christ (which is near at hand), being 
filled with the fruits of righteousness, 
unto the glory and praise of God ! 
Amen. 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



BOOK L 



WHEEEIN TEUE CHEISTIANITY, SINCEKE SOEEOW FOE SIN, EEPENT- 

ANCE, FAITH, AND THE HOLY LIFE OF THE TEUE 

CHEISTIAN, AEE CONSIDEEED. 



CHAPTER I. 

SHOWING WHAT THE IMAGE OF GOD IN MAN IS. 

Be renewed in the sjririt of your mind ; and . . . put on the new man, which after God is created 



in righteousness and true holiness. — Eph. 4 



THE image of God in man, is the 
conformity of the soul of man, of 
his spirit and mind, of his understand- 
ing and will, and of all his faculties 
and powers, both bodily and mental, 
to God and the Holy Trinity. For the 
decree of the Holy Trinity was thus 
expressed: "Let us make man in our 
image, after our likeness," etc. Gen. 
1:26. 

2. It is evident, therefore, that, 
when man was created, the image of 
the Trinity was impressed on him, in 
order that the holiness, righteousness, 
and goodness of God, might shine 
forth in his soul; diffuse abundant 
light through his understanding, will, 
and affections; and visibly appear 
even in his life and conversation: 
that, consequently, all his actions, 
both inward and outward, might 
breathe nothing but divine love, pu- 
rity, and power, and, in short, that 
the life of man upon earth might re- 



semble that of the angels in heaven, 
who are always engaged in doing the 
will of their Heavenly Father. In 
thus impressing his image on man, 
God designed to delight and rejoice in 
him, just as a father rejoices in a child 
born after his own image : for as a pa- 
rent, beholding himself, or another self, 
in' his offspring, cannot but feel the 
greatest complacency and delight; so, 
when God beheld the express charac- 
ter of his own Person reflected in an 
image of himself, his "delights were 
with the sons of men." Prov. 8 : 31. 
Thus it waa God's chief pleasure to 
look on man, in whom he rejoiced,, 
and rested, as it were, from all his; 
labor; considering him as the great 
masterpiece of his creation, and know- 
ing that in the perfect innocence and. 
beauty of man, the excellency of his. 
own glory would be fully set forth.. 
And this blessed communion our first 
parents and their posterity were al- 

(1) 



1 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



ways to have enjoyed, had they con- 
tinued in the likeness of God, and 
rested in him and in his will ; who, as 
he was their author, was also to be 
their end. 

3. It undoubtedly is the essential 
property of every image, that it be a 
just representation of the object which 
it is intended to express; and as the 
reflection in a mirror is vivid in a de- 
gree proportioned to the clearness of 
the mirror itself, so the image of God 
becomes more or less visible, accord- 
ing to the purity of the soul in which 
it is beheld. 

4. Hence God originally created man 
perfectly pure and undefiled; that so 
the divine image might be beheld in 
him, not as an empty, lifeless shadow 
in a glass, but as a true and living 
image of the invisible God, and as the 
likeness of his inward, hidden, and 
unutterable beauty. There was an 
image of the wisdom of God, in the 
understanding of man; of his goodness, 
gentleness, and patience, in the spirit 
of man; of his divine love and mercy, 
in the affections of man's heart. There 
was an image of the righteousness 
and holiness, the justice and purity 
of God, in the will of man; of his 
kindness, clemency, and truth, in all 
the words and actions of man; of his 
almighty power, in man's dominion 
over the earth, and inferior creatures; 
and lastly, there was an image of God's 
eternity, in the immortality of the hu- 
man soul. 

5. From the divine image thus im- 
planted in him, man should have ac- 
quired the knowledge both of God 
and of himself. Hence he might have 
learned, that God, his Creator, is all 
in all, the Being of beings, and the 
chief and only BEING, from whom 
.all created beings derive their exist- 
ence, and in whom, and by whom, all 



things that are, subsist. Hence, also, 
he might have known, that God, as 
the Original of man's nature, is all 
that essentially, of which he himself 
was but the image and representation. 
For since man was to bear the image 
of the divine goodness, it follows that 
God is the sovereign and universal 
goodness essentially (Matt. 19 : 17); 
and, consequently, that God is essen- 
tial love, essential life, and essential 
holiness, to whom alone (because he is 
all this essentially), worship and praise, 
honor and glory, might, majesty, do- 
minion, and virtue, are to be ascribed: 
whereas these do not appertain to the 
creature, nor belong to anything but 
God alone. 

6. From this image of the Divine 
Being, man should fürther have ac- 
quired the knowledge of himself. He 
should have considered what a vast 
difference there was between God and 
himself. Man is not God, but God's 
image; and the image of God ought to 
represent nothing but God. He is a 
portraiture of the Divine Being; a 
character, an image, in which God 
alone should be seen and glorified. 
Nothing therefore ought to live in 
man, besides God. Nothing but the 
Divinity should stir, will, love, think, 
speak, act, or rejoice in him. For if 
anything besides God live or work in 
man, he ceases to be the image of God; 
and becomes the image of that which 
thus lives and acts within him. If 
therefore a man would become, and 
continue to be, the image of God, he 
must wholly surrender himself to the 
Divine Being, and submit entirely to 
his will; he must suffer God to work 
in him whatsoever he pleases; so that, 
by denying his own will, he may do 
the will of his Heavenly Father with- 
out reserve, being entirely resigned to 
God, and willing to become a holy in- 



Chap. I.] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



strument in his hands, to do his will 
and his work. Such a man follows not 
his own will, but the will of God ; he 
loves not himself, but God ; seeks not 
his own honor, but the honor of God. 
He covets no estates nor affluence for 
himself, but refers all to the Supreme 
Good; and so being contented to pos- 
sess him, rises above the lo\se of the 
creature and the world. And thus 
ought man to divest himself of all love 
of himself and the world, that God 
alone may be all in him, and work all 
in him, by his Holy Spirit. Herein con- 
sisted the perfect innocence, purity, 
and holiness of man. For, what greater 
innocence can there be, than that a 
man should do, not his own will, but 
the will of his Heavenly Father? Or 
what greater purity, than that man 
should suffer God to work in him, and 
to do everything according to His 
pleasure ? Or, what greater holiness, 
than to become an instrument in the 
hands of the Spirit of God ? To resem- 
ble a child, in whose breast self-love 
and self-honor do not yet prevail, is, in 
truth, the highest simplicity. 

7. Of this entire devotedness to the 
Divine will, our Lord Jesus Christ, 
while he sojourned in our world, was 
a perfect example. He sacrificed his 
own will to God his Father, in blame- 
less obedience, humility, and meek- 
ness; readily depriving himself of all 
honor and esteem, of all self-interest 
and self-love, of all pleasure and joy; 
and leaving God alone, to think, speak, 
and act, in him, and by him. In short, 
he invariably made the will and pleas- 
ure of God his own, as the Father 
himself testified by a voice from Hea- 
ven : " This is my beloved Son, in 
whom I am well pleased." Matt. 3 : 
17. The Lord Jesus Christ, blessed 
forever, is the true Image of God, in 
whom nothing appears but God him- 



self, and such manifestations as are 
agreeable to his nature ; namely, love, 
mercy, long-suffering, patience, meek- 
ness, gentleness, righteousness, holi- 
ness, consolation, life, and everlasting 
blessedness : for by him, the invisible 
God was willing to be discovered and 
made known to man. He is indeed the 
image of God in a more sublime sense ; 
that is, according to his Divinity, by 
virtue of which, he is himself very 
God, the express and essential image 
of his Father's glory, in the infinite 
splendor of the uncreated light. Heb. 
1 : 3. But of this point no more can 
at present be said : our design being 
to speak of him only as he lived and 
conversed in his holy humanity, while 
he tabernacled upon the earth. 

8. It was in such a holy innocence 
as this, that the image of God was, in 
the beginning, conferred on Adam, 
which he should have preserved in 
true humility and obedience. Suffi- 
cient it surely was for him, that he was 
made capable of all the benefits of the 
divine image; of sincere and unmixed 
love and delight; of undisturbed and 
solid tranquillity of mind ; of power, 
fortitude, peace, light, and life. But 
not duly reflecting that he himself 
was not the chief good, but merely a 
mirror of the Godhead, formed pur- 
posely to receive the reflection of the 
divine nature, he erected himself into 
a God ; and thus choosing to be the 
highest good to himself, he was pre- 
cipitated into the greatest of all evils, 
being deprived of this inestimable 
image, and alienated from that com- 
munion with God, which, by virtue of 
it, he before enjoyed. 

9. Had self-will, self-love, and self- 
honor, been excluded, the image of 
God could not have departed from 
man ; but the Divine Being would 
have continued to be his sole glory, 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



honor, and praise. As everything is 
capable of its like and not of its con- 
trary, and in its like acquiesces and 
delights, so man, being in the simili- 
tude of God, was thereby prepared to 
receive God into himself, who was 
also ready to communicate himself to 
man, with all the treasures of his 
goodness ; goodness being of all things 
the most communicative of itself. 

10. Finally, man ought to have 
learned from the image of God, that 



by means of it he is united to God; 
and that in this union, his true and 
everlasting tranquillity, his rest, peace, 
joy, life, and happiness alone consist. 
He should have learned that all rest- 
lessness of mind and vexation of spirit, 
arise from nothing but a breach of 
this union, by which he ceases to be 
the image of God ; for man no sooner 
turns to the creature, than he is de- 
prived of that eternal good which is 
to be derived from God alone. 



CHAPTER II. 



OF THE FALL OF ADAM. 

As by one mart's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many 

be made righteous. — KoM. 5:19. 



THE fall of Adam was disobedience 
to God, by which man turned 
away from the Divine Being to him- 
self, and robbed God of the honor due 
to him alone, in that he himself thought 
to be as God. But while he thus 
labored to advance himself, he was 
stripped of that divine image, which 
the Creator had so freely conferred on 
him ; divested of hereditary righteous- 
ness; and bereaved of that holiness 
with which he was originally adorned ; 
becoming, as it regards his understand- 
ing, dark and blind; as to his will, 
stubborn and perverse; and as to all 
the powers and faculties of the soul, 
entirely alienated from God. This 
evil has infected the whole mass of 
mankind, by means of a fleshly gener- 
ation ; and has been inherited by all 
men. The obvious consequence aris- 
ing from this is, that man is become 
spiritually dead and the child of wrath 
and damnation, until redeemed from 
this miserable state by Jesus Christ. 



Let not then any who are called Chris- 
tians deceive themselves with regard 
to Adam's fall. Let them be cautious, 
how they attempt to extenuate or 
lessen the transgression of Adam, as 
though it were a small sin, a thing of 
little consequence, and, at the worst, 
but the eating of an apple. Let them 
rather be assured, that the guilt of 
Adam was that of Lucifer, namely, he 
would be as God : and that it was the 
same most grievous, heinous, and hate- 
ful sin in both. 

2. This apostasy (for it was nothing 
less), was, at first, generated in the 
heart, and then made manifest by the 
eating of the forbidden fruit. Though 
man was numbered with the sons of 
God ; though he came forth from the 
hands of the Almighty spotless both 
in body and in soul, and was the most 
glorious object in the creation ; though, 
to crown all, he was not only a son, 
but the delight of God ; yet not know- 
ing how to rest satisfied with these 



Chap. IL] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



high privileges, he attempted to in- 
vade Heaven, that he might be yet 
higher; and nothing less would suffice 
him, than to exalt himself like unto 
God. Hence, he conceived in his heart 
enmity and hatred against the Divine 
Being, his Creator and Father, whom, 
had it been in his power, he was dis- 
posed utterly to undo. Who could 
commit a sin more detestable than 
this ? or what greater abomination is 
there, that it was possible to meditate ? 

3. Hence it was, that man became 
inwardly like Satan himself, bearing 
his likeness in the heart ; since both 
had now committed the same sin, both 
having rebelled against the majesty of 
Heaven. Man no more exhibits an 
image of God, but rather that of the 
Devil ; he no longer is an instrument 
in the hands of God, but is become an 
organ of Satan, and is thereby ren- 
dered capable of every species of dia- 
bolical wickedness : so that, having 
lost that image which was heavenly, 
spiritual, and divine, he is altogether 
earthly, sensual, and brutish. For the 
devil, designing to imprint his own 
image upon man, fascinated him so 
entirely by a train of enticing and de- 
ceitful words, that man permitted him 
to sow that hateful seed in his soul, 
which is hence termed the seed of the 
serpent; and by which is chiefly 
meant, self-love, self-will, and the am- 
bition of being as God. On this ac- 
count it is, that the Scriptures term 
those who are intoxicated with self- 
love, "a generation of vipers." Matt. 
3 : 7. And all those who are of a 
proud and devilish nature, " the seed 
(progeny) of the serpent." So the 
Almighty, addressing the serpent, 
says, " I will put enmity between thee 
and the woman, and between thy seed 
and her seed." Gen. 3 : 15. 

4. From this seed of the serpent 



nothing but deadly and horrible fruit 
can possibly proceed ; namely, Satan's 
image, the children of Belial, the chil- 
dren of the devil. John 8 : 44. As in 
every natural seed, how minute soever 
it may be, are contained, in a most 
wonderful and hidden manner, the 
nature and properties of the future 
plant, all its parts and proportions, its 
branches, leaves, and flowers, in minia- 
ture ; so in that seed of the serpent, 
Adam's self-love and disobedience 
(which has passed unto all his pos- 
terity by a fleshly generation), there 
lies, as it were in embryo, the tree of 
death, with its branches, leaves, and 
flowers, and those innumerable fruits 
of unrighteousness which grow upon 
it. In short, the whQle image of Satan 
is secretly traced out there, with all 
its marks, characters, and proper- 
ties. 

5. If we observe a little child with 
attention, we shall see how this nat- 
ural corruption displays itself from 
its very birth ; aod how self-will and 
disobedience especially discover them- 
selves, and break forth into actions 
that effectually witness to the hidden 
root from which they spring. Let us 
consider the child further, as it grows 
up to maturer years. Observe the nat- 
ural selfishness of the youth, his in- 
bred ambition, his thirst after worldly 
glory, his love of applause, his pursuit 
of revenge, and his proneness to deceit 
and falsehood. And now these evils 
multiply. Soon may be discovered in 
him vanity, arrogance, pride, blasphe- 
my, vain oaths, awful curses, frauds, 
skepticism, infidelity, contempt of God 
and his holy Word, and disobedience 
to parents and magistrates : wrath and 
contentiousness; hatred and envy; re- 
venge and murder, and all kinds of 
cruelty; especially if outward occa- 
sions offer themselves, and call forth 



TEXTE CHBISTIAKLTY. 



[Book. I. 



into action this latent and deadly seed, 
and the various evils of Adam's de- 
praved nature. In proportion as such 
occasions continue to present them- 
selves, we shall observe the appear- 
ance of other vices; wantonness, adul- 
terous thoughts, lewd imaginations, 
obscene discourses, lascivious gestures, 
and all u the works of the flesh:" we 
shall behold drunkenness, rioting, and 
every species of intemperance; fickle- 
ness, excessive wantonness, and all 
that can please the appetite, the lust 
of the eye, and the pride of life. And 
besides these, there may soon be dis- 
covered, covetousness, extortion, chi- 
canery, sophistry, imposture, and every 
description of sinister practice; to- 
gether with knavery, overreaching 
in trade, and, in short, the whole 
troop, or rather army of sins, iniqui- 
ties, and crimes, which are so various 
and so many, that it is impossible to 
recount or declare the number of 
them; according to the words of the 
prophet Jeremiah, "the heart is de- 
ceitful above all things, and despe- 
rately wicked; who can know it?" 
Ch. 17 : 9. And if to those already 
enumerated there be added, in the last 
place, the seducing and false spirits; 
then may be observed schisms in the 
church, wicked and dangerous her- 
esies, yea, the abjuring of God and 
Christ, idolatry, the denial of the faith, 
hatred and persecution of the truth, 
the sin against the Holy Ghost, with 
every kind of corruption in doctrine, 
perversion of the Scriptures, and 
strong delusion. Now, what are all 
these but the image of Satan, and the 
fruits of the serpent's seed sown in 
man? 

6. Who could ever have supposed 
that such a depth of wickedness and 
depravity could be found in such a 
weak and helpless child ; that so ven- 



omous a principle, so corrupt a heart, 
lay hid in a babe apparently so harm- 
less ? Who could possibly have be- 
lieved this, had not man himself, by 
his sinful and abominable life, by the 
imaginations of his thoughts (being 
"only evil continually," and despe- 
rately bent on what is bad), of his own 
will brought it to light, and expressed, 
from his childhood, what was before 
concealed as in a seed? Gen. 6:5; 
8:21. 

7. Oh ! most vile and most accursed 
root! from which springs the poison- 
ous tree that i§ so fruitful in the pro- 
duction of every kind of plague. Oh, 
seed of the serpent, most hateful, most 
dreadful ! from which an image at once 
so deformed and foul is generated; and 
which continually enlarges itself, as it 
is excited by outward temptations and 
by the scandals of the world. Full 
well might the blessed Jesus so sol- 
emnly and strictly forbid, that any, by 
bad example, should offend little chil- 
dren; knowing that the seed of the 
serpent lurks in them, as the deadly 
poison in the venomous worm, ready 
to break forth into open acts of sin, 
whenever an occasion presents itself. 

8. Learn, then, O man! to know the 
fall of Adam, and the true nature of 
Original Sin. Learn, if thou art wise, 
to discern it in thyself. Examine it, 
not slightly and carelessly, but deeply, 
and as the importance of the matter 
deserves; for this infection is greater, 
this depravation deeper and more 
deadly, than can possibly be expressed 
by words, or even be conceived in idea. 
"Know thyself!" and deeply consider 
what thou art, O man ! since the fall 
of thy first father; how thou, who 
wast in the image of God, art become 
the image of Satan, an epitome of all 
his wicked tendencies, and art con- 
formed to Satan in all malice and un- 



Chap. III.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



godliness. For as in the image of God 
all the divine virtues and properties 
are contained, so in the image of the 
Devil, which man, by turning himself 
from God, has contracted, all the vices 
and properties are to be found, and 
the very nature of the Devil himself. 
For, as man, before the fall, bore the 
image of the heavenly Adam, that is, 
was altogether heavenly, spiritual, and 
divine; so, since the first apostasy, 
he carries about with him the image 
of the earthly Adam, being inwardly 
earthly, carnal, and corrupt. 

9. Lo ! he is become as one of the 
beasts of the field. For what, O fallen 
man ! is thy wrathfulness ? and to 
whom does it more properly belong, 
to the lion, or to man? And do not 
thine envy and thy greediness betray 
in thee the nature of the dog and of 
the wolf? And with regard to thy 
uncleanness and gluttony, are not 
these evidences of a swinish nature? 
Didst thou, indeed, but rightly ex- 
amine thine own breast, thou wouldst 
there discover a world of unclean and 
noxious beasts. Even in the tongue, 
that "little member," there may be 
found, according to St. James, a lake 
of pestilential and creeping things, a 
hold of every foul spirit, the cage of 
every filthy and hateful bird (Isaiah 



13 : 21 ; Rev. 18 : 2), and, in a word, a 
" world of iniquity." James 3:6. Of- 
ten, alas ! do we make such progress in 
wickedness as to surpass in wrath and 
fury the beasts of prey ; in ravenous- 
ness and violence, the wolf; in sub- 
tilty and cunning, the fox; in malice 
and virulence, the serpent; and in 
filthiness and obscenity, the swine. 
Hence it was, that our Lord termed 
Herod a fox, and the unholy, in gen- 
eral, dogs and swine ; to whom that 
which is holy should not be given. 
Luke 13:32; Matt. 7 : 6. 

10. Whosoever, therefore, fails to 
correct this corruption of nature, by 
being truly converted and renewed in 
Christ Jesus, but dies in the state 
which has been described, must re- 
tain, forever, this bestial and Satani- 
cal nature. He must be arrogant, 
haughty, proud, and devilish, through- 
out eternity. And when he shall have 
neglected the time of his purification 
here, he shall bear about with him 
the image of Satan in the blackness 
of darkness forever ; as a testimony, 
that while he was in the world, he did 
not live in Christ, nor was renewed 
after the image of God. " For with- 
out are dogs and sorcerers, and who- 



soever loveth and 
Rev. 21:8; 22:15. 



maketh a lie. 



CHAPTER III. 

SHOWING HOW MAN IS RENEWED IN CHRIST UNTO ETERNAL LIFE. 

In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new crea- 
ture. — Gal. 6 : 15. 



THE New Birth is a work of the 
Holy Ghost, by which man, of a 
sinner, is made righteous ; and from 
being a child of damnation and wrath, 
is made a child of grace and salvation. 



This change is effected through faith,., 
the word of God and the Sacraments y 
and by it, the heart, and all the powers; 
and faculties of the soul (more par- 
ticularly the understanding, will, and 



8 



TEÜE CHEISTIAISTITY. 



[Book I 



affections), are renewed, enlightened, 
and sanctified in Christ Jesus, and are 
fashioned after his express likeness. 
The new birth comprehends two chief 
blessings, namely, justification, and 
sanctification, or the renewal of man. 
Tit. 3 : 5. 

2. The birth of every real Christian 
is twofold. The first is " after the 
flesh," the second, " after the spirit;" 
the first is from beneath, the second 
from above; the first is earthly, but 
the second heavenly. The one is car- 
nal, sinful, and accursed, as descend- 
ing from the first Adam by the seed 
of the serpent, after the similitude 
and image of the Devil; and by this, 
the earthly and carnal nature is prop- 
agated. The other, on the contrary, 
is spiritual, holy, and blessed, as de- 
rived from the second Adam; after 
the likeness of the Son of God : and 
by this is propagated the heavenly 
and spiritual man, the seed and image 
of God. 

3. There is therefore in the Chris- 
tian a twofold line of descent; and, 
consequently, two men, as it were, ex- 
ist in one and the same person. The 
fleshly lineage is derived from Adam, 
and the spiritual lineage from Christ, 
through faith : for as the old birth of 
Adam is in man by nature, even so 
must the new birth of Christ be in 
him by grace. This is the old and 
new man, the old and new birth, the 
old and new Adam, the earthly and 
heavenly image, the flesh and the 
Spirit, Adam and Christ in us, and 
also, the outward and inward man. 

4. Let us now proceed to notice how 
we are regenerated by Christ. As the 
old birth is propagated carnally from 
Adam, so the new birth is spiritually 
propagated from Christ, through the 
word of God. This word is the seed 
of the new creature : for we are " born 



again, not of corruptible seed, but of 
incorruptible, by the word of God, 
which liveth and abideth forever." 
1 Peter 1:23. And, again, "Of his 
own will begat he us with the word 
of truth, that we should be a kind of 
first-fruits of his creatures." James 
1 : 18. The word of God produces 
faith ; and faith again apprehends the 
word of God, and in that word em- 
braces Jesus Christ and the Holy 
Ghost, by whose spiritual efficacy and 
virtue man is regenerated or born 
anew. In other words, regeneration 
is effected, in the first place, by the 
Holy Ghost ; and this is what Christ 
means by being " born of the Spirit " 
(John 3:5); secondly, by faith; 
whence it is said, — " whosoever be- 
lieveth that Jesus is the Christ, is born 
of God " (1 John 5:1); and thirdly, by 
holy Baptism ; according to that pas- 
sage of Scripture, " Except a man be 
born of water and of the Spirit, he 
cannot enter into the kingdom of 
God." John 3: 5. 

5. In Adam, man has inherited the 
chief evils ; as sin, divine wrath, death, 
Satan, hell, and damnation ; but in 
Christ, he is restored to the possession 
of the chief blessings, as righteous- 
ness, grace, blessing, power, a heaven- 
ly life, and eternal salvation. From 
Adam, man inherits a carnal spirit, 
and is subjected to the rule and ty- 
ranny of the evil spirit; but from 
Christ, he obtains the Holy Spirit, 
with his gifts, together with his com- 
forting guidance. From Adam, man 
has derived an arrogant, proud, and 
haughty spirit; but if he would be 
born again and renewed in his mind, 
he must receive from Christ, by faith, 
an humble, meek, and upright spirit. 
From Adam, man inherits an unbe- 
lieving, blasphemous, and most un- 
grateful spirit ; and it is his duty to 



Chap. III.] 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



obtain from Christ a believing spirit, 
that will prove faithful, acceptable, 
and well-pleasing to God. From 
Adam, a disobedient, violent and rash 
spirit is inherited ; but from Christ, 
we imbibe, through faith, the spirit of 
obedience, gentleness, and modesty, 
and the spirit of meekness and mod- 
eration. From Adam, we, by nature, 
inherit a spirit of wrath, enmity, re- 
venge, and murder ; but from Christ, 
we, by faith, acquire the spirit of long- 
suffering, love, mercy, forgiveness, 
and universal goodness and benignity. 
From Adam, man, by nature, inherits 
a covetous heart, a churlish, merci- 
less spirit, that seeks only to profit 
self, and grasp at that which is the 
right of another ; but from Christ, is 
obtained, by faith, the spirit of mercy, 
compassion, generosity, and mildness. 
From Adam proceeds an unchaste, 
unclean, and intemperate spirit; but 
from Christ, a spirit of chastity, pu- 
rity, and temperance, may be obtained. 
From Adam, there is communicated 
to man a spirit full of calumny and 
falsehood ; while on the other hand, 
he acquires from Christ the spirit of 
truth, of constancy, and of integrity. 
Lastly, we receive from Adam a brutish 
and earthly spirit j and from Christ, a 
spirit from above, which is altogether 
heavenly and divine. 

6. Hence, it behooved Christ to 
take upon himself our nature, and to be 
conceived and anointed by the Holy 
Ghost, in order that we might all re- 
ceive of his fulness. It was requisite 
that " the Spirit of the Lord should 
rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom 
and understanding, the spirit of coun- 
sel and might, the spirit of knowledge 
and of the fear of the Lord " (Isa. 11 : 
2), that so human nature might in him, 
and by him, be restored and renewed, 
and that we, in him, by him, and 



through him, might become new crea- 
tures. This is accomplished by re- 
ceiving from Christ, the spirit of wis- 
dom and understanding, for the spirit 
of folly ; the spirit of counsel, for that 
of madness ; the spirit of might, for 
that of cowardice and fear; the spirit 
of knowledge, instead of our natural 
blindness; and the spirit of the fear 
of the Lord, instead of the spirit of 
impiety and infidelity. 

7. It is in this heavenly change that 
the new life and the new creation 
within us consist. For as, in Adam 
we are all spiritually dead, and in- 
capable of performing any works, ex- 
cept those of death and darkness ; so, 
in Christ, we must be made alive (1 
Cor. 15 : 22) and do the works of light 
and life. As, by a carnal generation, 
we have inherited sin from Adam ; so, 
by faith, we must inherit righteous- 
ness from Christ. As, by a fleshly 
descent from Adam, pride, covetous- 
ness, lust, and all kinds of impurity, 
are entailed upon us; so by the spirit 
of Christ, our nature ought to be re- 
newed, and all pride, covetousness, 
lust, and envy, be mortified within us. 
And thus is it necessary that we 
should, from Christ, derive a new 
spirit, heart, and mind; even as we 
derived from Adam our sinful flesh. 

8. With reference to this great 
work of regeneration, Christ is called 
"the everlasting Father" (Isa. 9 : 6), 
and we are renewed in him to life 
eternal, being here regenerated into 
his likeness, and made in him new 
creatures. And if our works ever 
prove acceptable in the sight of God, 
they must spring from this principle 
of the new birth; that is, from Christ, 
his Spirit, and an unfeigned faith. 

9. Henceforth we must live in the 
new birth, and the new birth in us j 
we must be in Christ, and Christ in 



10 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



us : we must live in the spirit of Christ, 
and the spirit of Christ in us. Gal. 
2 : 20. This regeneration with its at- 
tendant fruits, is described by St. 
Paul, as the being "renewed in the 
spirit of our mind," " putting off the 
old man," and the being " transformed 
into the image of God." He likewise 
considers it as the being "renewed in 
knowledge after the image of him 
that created us," and " the renewing 
of the Holy Ghost." Eph. 4 : 23 ; 2 
Cor. 3: 18; Col. 3: 10; Tit. 3: 5. It is 
termed by Ezekiel, " taking away the 
stony heart, and giving a heart of 
flesh." Ch. 11:19. Hence it appears 
how the regeneration of man proceeds 
from the incarnation of Jesus Christ. 
As man, by ambition, pride, and dis- 
obedience, turned himself from God; 
so his apostasy could not be expiated 
and removed, except by the extreme 
humility, lowliness, and obedience of 
the Son of God. And as Christ, when 
upon earth, was most humble in his 
conversation among men, so it is nec- 
essary, O man I that he should be the 
same in thee; that he should dwell in 
thy soul, and restore the image of God 
in thee. 

10. And now, O man! contemplate 
the perfectly amiable, lowly, obedient, 
and patient Jesus, and learn of him; 
live as he lived, yea, live in him, and 
tread in his steps. For what was the 
cause of his living upon earth? It 
was that he might become thy exam- 
ple, thy mirror, and the rule of thy 
life. He, he only, is the rule of life, 
and the pattern which every Christian 
should strive to imitate. It is not the 
rule of any man whatsoever. There 
ig but one example, — Christ; and him 
the Apostles have, with one consent, 
set before us for our imitation. And 
in the same manner are we called to 
view his passion, death, and resurrec- 



tion : even that thou, O man ! should- 
est with him, die unto sin; and in 
him, with him, and by him, spiritu- 
ally rise again, and walk in newness 
of life, "even as he also walked." 
Eom. 6 : 4. 

11. Thus may we see, how our re- 
generation arises from the passion, 
death, and resurrection, of our gra- 
cious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 
Hence, St. Peter saith, " God hath be- 
gotten us again unto a lively hope by 
the resurrection of Jesus Christ from 
the dead." 1 Pet. 1 : 3. And all the 
apostles will everywhere be found to 
lay the foundation of repentance and 
of a new life, in the passion of Christ. 
St. Peter, indeed, gives this express 
charge: "Pass the time of your so- 
journing here in fear; forasmuch as 
ye know that ye were not redeemed 
with corruptible things, as silver and 
gold; but with the precious blood of 
Christ, as of a lamb without blemish 
and without spot " (1 Pet. 1 : 17-19) ; 
in which we may observe, that the 
ransom paid for our redemption is 
urged as the motive to a holy conver- 
sation. The same apostle tells us, 
likewise, that " Christ his own self bare 
our sins in his own body on the tree, 
that we, being dead to sins, should live 
unto righteousness" (1 Peter 2: 24); 
and Jesus himself has said : " Thus it 
behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise 
from the dead the third day : and 
that repentance and remission of sins 
should be preached in his name." 
Luke 24 : 46, 47. 

12. It is evident, therefore, that 
from the passion and death of Christ, 
proceed both the satisfaction made for 
our sins, and the renewing of our na- 
ture by faith ; and that they both are 
necessary to the restoration of fallen 
man. The latter, as well as the former, 
is the blessed effect of Christ's passion, 



Chap. IV.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



11 



which worketh our renewal and sancti- 
fication. 1 Cor. 1 : 30. Thus the new 
birth in us proceeds from Christ. And 
as a means to attain this end, holy Bap- 
tism has been instituted, wherein we 



are baptized into the death of Christ, 
in order that we might die with bim 
unto sin by the power of his death, 
and rise again from sin by the power 
of his resurrection. 



CHAPTER IV. 



OF TRUE REPENTANCE, AND THE TRUE YOKE AND CROSS OP CHRIST. 
They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. — Gal. 5 : 24. 



REPENTANCE, or true conver- 
sion, is the work of the Holy 
Spirit, under the influence of which, 
man, through the law, acknowledges 
his sin, and the wrath of God provoked 
against it; and earnestly mourns over 
his offences; and then, understanding, 
through the Gospel, the grace of God, 
by faith in Christ Jesus, he obtains 
the remission of his sins. By this re- 
pentance, the mortification or crucify- 
ing of the flesh, and of all carnal lusts 
and pleasures, is carried on; together 
with the quickening of the spirit, or 
the resurrection of the new man in 
Christ. Under the exercise of repent- 
ance, therefore, the old Adam, with 
his corruptions, dies within us; and 
Christ lives in us, by faith (Gal. 2 : 
20) ; for we must be aware that these 
two are inseparably connected. The 
resurrection of the spirit follows the 
mortification of the flesh; and the 
quickening of the new man, destroys 
and annihilates the old man; the ruin 
of the one, is the life and resurrection 
of the other. "Though our outward 
man perish, yet the inward man is 
renewed day by day." 2 Cor. 4 : 16. 
"We are, therefore, enjoined to "mor- 
tify our members which are upon the 
earth" (Col. 3:5); and to "reckon our- 
selves to be dead indeed unto sin, but 



alive unto God, through Jesus Christ 
our Lord." Eom. 6 : 11. 

2. Let us, however, inquire why the 
flesh is thus to be mortified; and why 
the whole body of sin is at last to 
be destroyed. It has been remarked 
(Chap. II) that, by the fall of Adam, 
man became earthly, carnal, and devil- 
ish ; without God, and without love: 
for being without God, he was also 
without love. Man was now turned 
from the love of God to the love of 
the world, and especially of himself; 
so that in every situation, and under 
all circumstances, he now studies, fa- 
vors, flatters, counsels, and applauds 
himself; and provides only for his 
own interest, honor, and glory. All 
this is the consequence of Adam's fall; 
who, while meditating how he might 
erect himself, as it were, into a God, 
was involved, together with all his 
posterity, in the same awful sin and 
perdition. This depravation of human 
nature must of necessity be entirely 
removed; and this can be effected only 
by serious repentance ; by godly sor- 
row; by a faith that apprehends the 
remission of sin ; by the mortification 
of sensual pleasure; and by the cruci- 
fixion of pride and self-love. For true 
repentance consists not in putting 
away gross and open sins only; but 



12 



TEUE CHBISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



it requires that a man should enter 
his heart, and search into its inmost 
recesses. The secret parts, the wind- 
ings and the turnings of iniquity are 
to be laid open ; in order that the re- 
turning sinner may be thoroughly re- 
newed, and, at length, be converted 
from the love of himself, to the love 
of God ; from the love of the world, 
to a life of spirituality; and from a 
participation of earthly pomps and 
pleasures, to a participation, through 
faith, of the merits of Christ. 

3. Hence it follows, that a man must 
deny himself (Luke 9 : 23); that is, he 
must mortify his own will, and suffer 
himself to be entirely led by the will 
of God. He must no longer love, seek, 
and esteem himself; but he must ac- 
count himself to be the unworthiest 
and most miserable of all creatures. 
He must renounce all he has for the 
love of Christ; and trample on the 
world, its pomps, and its vanities. He 
must pass by his own wisdom and 
natural endowments, as though he 
beheld them not; he must confide in 
no creature, but in God alone; yea, 
he must "hate his own life ^ (Luke 
14 : 26), that is, his carnal will and 
pleasures; his pride, covetousness, 
lust, wrath, and envy. He must not 
please, but rather displease himself; 
nor must he attribute anything to his 
own strength or ability. In a word, 
he must be crucified to the world (Gal. 
6 : 14), to the lust of the eyes and the 
flesh, and to the pride of life. This, 
and this alone, is that true repentance 
and mortification of the flesh, without 
which no man can ever be a disciple 
of Jesus Christ. This only is conver- 
sion from self, the world, and the devil, 
unto God (Acts 26 : 18) ; without which 
no one can receive remission of sins, 
nor be saved. 

4. This is the true cross and yoke 



of Christ; that of which the Saviour 
spoke when he said, " Take my yoke 
upon you, and learn of me; for I am 
meek and lowly in heart." Matt. 11 : 
29. As if he had said, "Thy self-love 
and ambition must be removed by 
earnest and inward humility, of which 
thou hast an example in me; and by 
the example of my meekness, must 
thy wrath and desire of revenge be 
subdued." This, to the new man, is 
an easy yoke and a light burden; 
though, to the flesh, it may seem to 
be a most bitter and afflictive cross. 
This is to crucify our own flesh, with 
the affections and lusts. Gal. 5 : 24. 

5. They, therefore, who are ac- 
quainted with no other cross than the 
tribulations and afflictions of this life, 
greatly err; being ignorant of that 
true cross, which we ought to bear 
after our Lord daily; namely, inward 
repentance, and the mortification of 
the flesh; submitting to our enemies 
with great patience; and overcoming 
the malice of slanderers by humility 
and mildness, after the pattern which 
the Lamb of God has left us. For it 
becomes us to follow the example of 
Christ, who renounced all worldly 
splendor and glory, and everything 
that is commonly esteemed great and 
noble. 

6. This yoke of Christ is the real 
cross, which when a man bears he 
truly dies to the world. It is not to 
retire into monasteries and cloisters, 
nor to adopt a set of rules and orders 
for the regulation of life; for while the 
heart remains disordered, and the love 
corrupt; while the man is puffed up 
with spiritual pride, and a pharisaical 
contempt of others; while he is de- 
voted to lust, envy, hypocrisy, secret 
hatred and malice ; he does not die to 
the world, but altogether lives to it. 
This is not the Christian yoke nor is 



Chap. IV.] 



TEÜE CHBISTIANITY. 



13 



it the cross of Christ; for these con- 
sist in mortifying the flesh, with its 
sinful propensities; in turning away 
from the world to God; *in an inward 
and constant secret sorrow for our 
sins; in a daily dying to the world, 
and living to Christ by faith ; in fol- 
lowing his steps with sincere lowli- 
ness and humility; and in confiding 
only in the grace of God in Christ 
Jesus. 

7. To this unfeigned repentance, 
this true and inward conversion from 
the world unto God, hath our blessed 
Lord called us. The imputation of 
his righteousness and obedience, to- 
gether with the remission of all our 
sins, apprehended by faith, is promised 
to it alone. If we are destitute of re- 
pentance, Christ profiteth us nothing; 
that is, we cannot then become par- 
takers of his grace and favor, nor 
of the efficacy of his merits ; because 
these can be applied only by a con- 
trite, penitent, lowly, and believing 
heart. And truly this is the fruit of 
the passion of Christ in us, that we 
die to sin by a sincere repentance ; as 
the fruit of his resurrection is, that 
Christ may live in us, and we in him. 

8. All this is necessary to render 
man that new creature in Christ Jesus, 
without which nothing availeth in the 
sight of God. 2 Cor. 5 : 17 ; Gal. 6 : 15. 

9. Hence, therefore, let us be in- 
structed in the nature of true repent- 
ance; lest we be led away into that 
common error, that the mere relin- 
quishment of some gross enormity, as 
theft, fornication, profaneness, blas- 
phemy, is the genuine and only re- 
pentance. It is certain, that this is a 
kind of external repentance ; but it is 
no less so, that all the Scriptures alike 
inculcate the necessity of an inward 
repentance, which takes possession of 
the whole soul. A man under the in- 



fluence of this repentance, not only 
supports a fair conversation in the 
world, but he also denies and hates 
himself. Eenouncing the world and 
all he calls his own, and crucifying 
the flesh, he commits himself by faith 
to God alone; and offers up to him a 
broken and contrite heart, as the sac- 
rifice most acceptable in his sight. 
This character of inward repentance 
is eminently set forth in the Psalms 
of David, and particularly in those 
termed Penitential.* 

10. This is, therefore, the only true 
repentance, when the heart of the sin- 
ner is inwardly torn with grief, and 
weighed down by heaviness ; and when, 
on the other hand, it is healed by faith 
and the remission of sin,' quickened by 
the infusion of divine joy, provoked 
to good works, and thoroughly trans- 
formed and changed. Such a frame of 
mind cannot fail to be attended also 
with an external reformation of life and 
manners. 

11, But, on the other hand, though 
a man be very serious in the perform- 
ance of bodily penances, and, from a 
dread of punishment, abstain from the 
commission of notorious sins; yet if 
he continue unreformed and unregen- 
erate in his heart, and enter not upon 
that new and inward life which it has 
been our object to describe, he will 
prove but a castaway (1 Cor. 9 : 27) at 
last, notwithstanding the whole train 
of his external acts. It will avail him 
nothing to cry, " Lord, Lord !" He will 
hear the tremendous declaration, "I 
never knew you!" For most certain 
it is, that not every one that saith, 
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the king- 
dom of heaven, but those only who 
do the will of their Heavenly Father. 



* [These are Psalms, 6 ; 32 
130; 143.] 



; 51; 102; 



14 



TETJE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



Matt. 7 : 21-23. And under this awful 
sentence of divine majesty, all men are 
comprised, of what rank or order so- 
ever, who do not truly and inwardly 



repent, and who are not new creatures 
in Christ, for " if any man have not 
the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." 
Eom. 8:9. 



CHAPTER V. 

WHEREIN DOES TRUE FAITH CONSIST? 
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. — 1 John 5: 1. 



FAITH is a sincere confidence, and a 
firm persuasion of the grace of God 
promised to us in Christ Jesus, for the 
remission of sin and eternal life; and 
it is enkindled in the heart, by the 
word of Cod and the Holy Spirit. 
Through this faith we obtain the 
forgiveness of our sins, without any 
merits of our own, of mere grace (Eph. 
2 : 8), and for the sake of the merits 
of Christ alone; that so, our faith 
misrht rest on a firm and solid founda- 
tion, and remain unmoved by perplex- 
ity and doubts. This forgiveness of 
sin constitutes our justification before 
God, which is true, solid, and eternal; 
for this righteousness is purchased 
neither by men nor angels, but by 
the obedience, merit, and the blood 
of the Son of God himself. We ap- 
propriate and apply it to ourselves 
by faith; and hence the imperfections 
which still adhere to us cannot con- 
demn us, since, for the sake of Christ, 
who now lives and works within us, 
they are covered with a veil of grace. 
Ps. 32:1. 

2. By this cordial and unshaken 
faith, man wholly dedicates his heart 
to the Almighty, in whom alone he 
seeks his rest. To him only is he 
now united, and with him alone he 
enters into delightful fellowship. He 
partakes of all things that are of God 



and of Christ, and is made one spirit 
with the Lord. From him he receives 
divine power and strength; together 
with a new life, attended with new 
joys, new pleasures, new consolations, 
in which are found peace, inward ease, 
and durable satisfaction, together with 
righteousness and holiness. And thus 
man is born anew of God by faith. 
For wherever there is true faith, there 
Christ is verily present with all his 
righteousness, holiness, and remission 
of sin; with all his merits, justifica- 
tion, grace, adoption, and inheritance 
of eternal life. This is the new birth 
and the new creature, springing from 
faith in Christ. Hence, the apostle 
calls faith a substance (Heb. 11 : 1); un- 
derstanding by it, a sure, solid, and 
unshaken confidence in "things hoped 
for," and a lively conviction of " things 
not seen." For the consolation con- 
veyed by a vital faith is so powerful, 
as to convince the heart of the divine 
truth by inward experience, and by 
the tasting of the heavenly goodness 
in the soul, and of the peace of God, 
that passes all understanding; yea, it 
is so mighty as to enable its possess- 
ors to die with a joyful heart. In 
this consist that strength of the spirit, 
that might of the inner man, that 
vigor of faith, that holy boldness; this 
is that confidence toward God, that 



Chap. V.] 



TKUE CHEISTIANITY. 



15 



exceeding and abounding assurance, 
which are so copiously set forth by 
the holy apostles. 2 Tim. 2:1; Eph. 
3 : 12, 16 ; Phil. 1 : 14 ; 1 John 3:21; 
1 Thess. 1:5; 2:2. 

3. That for which a man will dare 
to die, must be rooted in the soul, and, 
by the operation of the Spirit of God, 
afford an inward assurance. It must 
be a cordial, powerful, and eternal 
comfort, infusing heavenly and super- 
natural strength into the soul, by 
which the fear of death and the love 
of the world may both be subdued. 
Now all this begets so solid a trust in 
Christ, and so close a union with him, 
as neither death nor life is able to dis- 
solve. Eom. 8:38; 2 Tim. 1:12. 
Hence St. John says : " Whatsoever 
is born of God overcometh the world." 
1 John 5 : 4. 

4. To be born of God is in truth no 
vain figure, no empty name ; it must 
necessarily be a lively and powerful 
change, worthy of the majesty of an 
omnipotent God. To believe that the 
living God could beget a dead off- 
spring, that lifeless members and use- 
less organs could proceed from him, 
were very wickedness. It is sure and 
undoubted that God, being a living 
God, cannot but beget a living man, 
even the new man in Christ Jesus. 
And our faith is the victory which 
overcomes the world. 1 John 5:4. 
Who can question whether it be en- 
dued with strength sufficient for the 
conquest ? It is, it must be a lively, 
vigorous, potent, divine, and victori- 
ous principle; but all its power is 
derived from him who is embraced by 
it, even Christ. By means of faith, 
we return into God again, and become 
one with him; and from Adam, as 
from an accursed vine, we are trans- 
planted into Christ, the living and 
blessed vine. John 15 : 4. In Christ, 



we possess everything that is good, 
and in him, are justified. 

5. As a scion, when grafted on a 
good tree, grows, flourishes, and bears 
fruit, but, without it, withers away ; 
so man, when out of Christ, is as an 
accursed vine, whose grapes are bit- 
terness and gall ; and all his works 
are sin. Deut. 32 : 32, 33 ; Eom. 14 : 
23. But when he is in Christ, he is 
righteous and blessed ; because " he 
was made to be sin for us, who knew 
no sin, that we might be made the 
righteousness of God in him." 2 Cor. 
5:21. 

6. It is most evident, from what 
has been advanced, that works cannot 
possibly justify a sinner; because, be- 
fore we can perform any good work, 
we must be engrafted into Christ by 
faith: and it is equally clear, that 
justification is entirely the gift of God, 
freely conferred on man and preced- 
ing all human merit. How shall a 
dead man see, hear, stand, walk, or 
do any good thing, unless he be first 
raised from the dead, and endued with 
a new principle of life ? So neither 
canst thou, O man, who art dead in 
sins, do any work that is good or ac- 
ceptable, unless thou be first raised 
unto life by Jesus Christ. Thus right- 
eousness proceeds only from faith in 

Christ. Faith is like a new-born 
babe, weak and naked, poor and des- 
titute, and laid before the eyes of 
the Saviour; from whom, as from its 
author, it receives righteousness and 
sanctification, godliness, grace and the 
Holy Ghost. 

7. The naked child is thus clothed 
with the mercy of God. He lifts up 
his bands, receives all from God, and is 
made a partaker of grace and health, 
truth and holiness. It is, therefore, 
this receiving of Christ in the heart, 
that makes a man holy and happy. 



16 



TEÜE CHEISTIAOTTY. 



[Book I. 



8. Eighteousness proceeds therefore 
solely from faith, and not from works. 
Indeed, faith receives the whole 
Christ, and accepts him, together 
with all that he has. Then sin and 
death, the devil and hell, must flee, 
and are unable any longer to preserve 
their ground. Nay, so effectually and 
so powerfully do the merits of Christ 
justify the sinner, that if the sins of 
the whole world were charged on one 
man, they would not avail to condemn 
him, if he believed in Christ. 

9. Inasmuch, therefore, as Christ 
lives and dwells in thy heart by faith 
(Eph. 3 : 17), never, O believer ! indulge 
the .thought, that his indwelling in 
thee, is a dead work unattended with 
any vital power. Eather believe that 
it is a quickening principle, a mighty 
work, and an effectual transforming 
of thy mind. Faith effects two things : 
it first engrafts thee into Christ, and 
gives him freely to thee, with all that 
he has; and then, it renews thee in 
Christ, that thou mayest grow, flour- 
ish, and live in him. The wild graft 
is introduced into the stock, for no 
other end than that it may flourish 
and bear fruit. As by the apostasy 
of Adam and the temptation of the 
devil, the seed of the serpent was 
sown in man, growing up into a tree 
and bearing the fruits of death • even 
so by the divine word and the Holy 
Spirit, is faith sown in man, as the 
seed of God. See Chap. II. In this 
seed all divine virtues and properties 
are, in a most wonderful manner, com- 
prehended; which gradually expand 
themselves from day to day. This 
tree is adorned with a profusion of 
heavenly fruit ; as love, patience, 
humility, meekness, peace, chastity, 
righteousness. And thus the whole 



kingdom of God descends into man. 
For true and saving faith renews the 
whole man, purifies the heart, sancti- 
fies the soul, and delivers from the 
love of the world. It unites with 
God ; it hungers and thirsts after 
righteousness; it works love; and it 
brings peace, joy, patience, and com- 
fort in adversity : it overcomes the 
world ; it makes us sons of God, and 
heirs of the treasures of heaven; and 
it constitutes us joint-heirs with the 
Lord Jesus Christ. But if any one 
should not be conscious of that joyful- 
ness which faith imparts and does not 
experience its consoling influences, 
let him not, on that account, despair ; 
but rather let him trust in the grace 
which is promised in Christ : for this 
promise ever remains sure, immov- 
able, and everlasting. And though, 
through the infirmities incident to 
human nature, he should stumble and 
fall ; yet, if the sinner return by un- 
feigned repentance, and more cau- 
tiously watch against the sin which 
so easily besets him, the grace of God 
will not be withdrawn. For Christ is 
and will ever be Christ and a Saviour, 
whether the faith that embraces him 
be strong or weak. A weak faith 
has an equal share in Christ with a 
strong faith, for faith, whether it be 
weak or strong, possesses the whole 
Christ. The grace which is promised 
is common to all Christians, and is 
eternal, and on this grace faith must 
rely, whether it be weak or strong. 
The Lord will revisit thy soul in his 
own time, with a sense of his graci- 
ous favor, and of his abundant con- 
solations, although, at the present, he 
may think fit to put a veil over it in 
thy heart. Ps. 37:23, 24; 77:7-10. 
Upon this subject, see Book II. 



Chap. VI.] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



17 



CHAPTER VI. 



SHOWING HOW THE VITAL POWER OP THE WORD OP GOD SHOULD BE 
MANIFESTED IN MAN THROUGH PAITH. 



Behold, the kingdom of God is within you. — John 17 : 21. 



INASMUCH as man's whole welfare 
depends on his regeneration and 
renewal, it was the will of God that 
all those changes which ought to take 
place in man spiritually and by faith, 
should be also outwardly set forth in 
the words of Holy Scripture. Since 
the Word is the seed of God (Luke 8 : 
11) within us, it is necessary that it 
should also spring up and spiritually 
bear fruit. That must be accomplished 
in us by faith, which is declared without 
us in the letter of Scripture; and if 
this effect be not produced, then the 
Word is evidently to us but a dead 
seed, destitute of life and energy. 
Hence, we ought in faith and in spirit 
to learn by our own happy experience 
the truth of that which the Scriptures 
have outwardly declared. 

2. When God revealed his will in 
his Word, he never designed that the 
latter should be a dead letter, but that 
it should grow up in us to a new and 
inward man; otherwise the Word is 
of no benefit to us. These truths may 
be explained more clearly by a refer- 
ence to some example, as that of Cain 
and Abel. The nature, manners, and 
actions of these two persons, as they 
are recorded in Scripture, clearly ex- 
plain the motions and workings of the 
old and the new man in the breast of 
the believer. Cain perpetually en- 
deavors to oppress and destroy Abel. 
What else is this but the daily strife 
of the flesh and spirit, and the enmity 
subsisting between the serpent and 



the seed of the woman ? With Abra- 
ham, the Christian is required to quit 
his own country, leaving all that he 
possesses, even life itself, in order that 
he may walk before God with a per- 
fect heart, obtain the victory, and enter 
into the land of promise and kingdom 
of heaven. Such is the meaning of 
the Lord's words : " If any man come 
to me, and hate not his father, and 
mother, and wife, and children, and 
brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own 
life also, he cannot be my disciple;" 
that is, he must renounce all these 
rather than renounce Christ. Luke 
14 : 26. With Lot, he must depart 
from Sodom and Gomorrah, forsaking 
the wicked course of the world ; not 
looking back with Lot's wife, but 
obeying Christ's injunction (Luke 17 : 
32), in order that his deliverance may 
be completed. Hither are all the wars 
and battles of Israel against the hea- 
then and infidel nations to be referred; 
for what is represented under this his- 
tory but the continual strife between 
the flesh and the spirit? Whatsoever 
is recorded of the Mosaical priesthood, 
the tabernacle, the ark of the cove- 
nant, or the mercy-seat, with the sac- 
rifices, etc., — all has relation to the 
Christian believer. For unto him it 
appertains to pray in spirit and in 
truth; to burn spiritual incense; and 
to slay the sin-offering by presenting 
his body, through mortification, as a. 
reasonable service and sacrifice, so that 
Christ may truly dwell in him by faith* 



2 



18 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



3. And if we advert to the New 
Testament itself, what is this but an 
outward expression of those truths, 
which are to be inwardly fulfilled by 
faith, in the experience of the be- 
liever? If I become a new creature 
in Christ, it is incumbent on me to 
live and walk in him ; in him and with 
him, to flee into exile, and to be a 
stranger upon the earth. The virtues 
that resided in him I ought to prac- 
tise; humility, contempt of the world, 
meekness, and patience ; and I am 
bound to be fervent in acts of benig- 
nity, charity, and loving kindness. In 
and with Christ I should exercise 
mercy, and pardon and love my ene- 
mies, and, with him, do the Father's 
will. I must be tempted by Satan 
with him ; and, with him, I must ob- 
tain the victory. I am to be derided, 
despised and vilified for the sake of 
the truth that is in me ; and, if called 
to it, I ought to die for and with him, 
after the example of the saints, and in 
testimony that he, by faith, hath lived 
in me, and I in him. 

4. This is to be conformed to the 
image of Christ; this is to be born 
with and in Christ ; to put on Christ ; 
to grow up and be strong in Christ ; 
to live with Christ iu banishment; to 
be baptized with his baptism; to be 
scoffed and crucified with him; to die 
with him; to be buried with him; to 
rise with him from the dead; and to 
reign with him to all eternity. 

5. If ever thou desirest to live in a 
constant union and conformity with 
thy Head and Saviour, thou art in this 
manner to die daily with him, and to 
crucify the flesh. Bom. 6 : 5, 6. Should 
this divine harmony not exist, and an- 
other way be devised more consonant 
;to thy fancy, then Christ will not be 
within but without thee ; far from thy 
faith., thy heart, and thy spirit ; and, 



in that case, he will profit thee noth- 
ing. But if thou permit him to dwell 
in thy heart by faith, he will be thy 
strength, thy comfort, and thy salva- 
tion. 

6. All this, O man! doth faith in 
Christ effect within the heart; and 
thus the Word of God becomes a liv- 
ing Word, and, as it were, a living wit- 
ness in us of all those things which 
are externally declared in the Scrip- 
tures. Hence, faith is termed by the 
apostle a substance and an evidence, 
Heb. 11 : 1. 

7. It is therefore evident, that all 
the sermons, discourses, and epistles, 
contained in the Word of God, whether 
proceeding from Christ, or the proph- 
ets, or the apostles; and, in a word, 
that all the Scriptures, in general, as 
it regards their complete fulfilment, 
belong to man, and to every man in- 
dividually. Not only do the plain 
doctrines appertain to us ; but all the 
parables and miracles with which the 
history of Christ abounds, have their 
final reference to man. 

8. The purpose for which they were 
written was, that they might be 
spiritually fulfilled in our own experi- 
ence. When, therefore, I read that 
Christ healed others, I promise my- 
self the same relief; for we live in 
unity one with another, Christ with 
me, and I with Christ. When I read 
further, how he cured the blind, I am 
encouraged to believe that he will 
restore me to the enjoyment of spirit- 
ual sight, who am blind by nature : 
and so, with regard to all his other 
miracles. Only own thyself to be 
blind, lame, deaf, or leprous; to be 
dead in trespasses and sins; and then, 
he will surely heal thy maladies, and 
quicken that which is dead, that so 
thou mayest have part in the first 
resurrection. 



Chap. VII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



19 



9. The substance of all that has 
been advanced is this : the Holy Scrip- 
ture bears outward testimony to those 
things, which are to be inwardly ful- 
filled in man, by faith. It points out 
that image externally, which, by faith, 
is to be formed within him. It de- 
scribes the kingdom of God in the 
letter, which is to be established in the 



heart, by faith, after the spirit. It 
exhibits Christ outwardly, who is, by 
faith, to live within me; and it testi- 
fies of the new birth and of the new 
creature, which I must experience in 
myself. All this I am to be made by 
faith, or the Scripture will profit me 
nothing. 



CHAPTER VIL 

THE LAW OF GOD, WRITTEN IN THE HEARTS OF ALL MEN, CONVINCES THEM THAT 
ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT THEY WILL BE WITHOUT EXCUSE. 

When the Gentiles . . . do the things contained in the law . . . they shew the work of the law 
written in their hearts.— JZom. 2 : 14, 15. 



"TT^HEN God created man in his 
TT own image, in righteousness 
and holiness, and endowed him with 
exalted virtues and gifts, he impressed 
three qualities on the human con- 
science so deeply, that they can never 
be effaced : First, the natural testi- 
mony that there is a God. Secondly, 
a testimony that a day of Judgment 
will come. Rom. 2 : 15. Thirdly, the 
law of nature, or natural righteous- 
ness, by which man is enabled to dis- 
tinguish between honor and shame, 
and to experience joy and sorrow. 

2. For no nation has ever been dis- 
covered so wild and barbarous, as to 
deny that a God exists, inasmuch as 
nature furnishes internal and external 
evidence of this fact. Indeed, men 
have not only acknowledged the being 
of a God, of which they were assured 
by their consciences ; but they have 
also been affected with a sense of his 
justice, as an avenger of evil, and a 
rewarder of good; and this persuasion 



arose from the consciousness, that, on 
some occasions, they were harassed 
with fearful apprehensions ; while, on 
others, they felt a certain measure of 
peace and joy. By this knowledge, 
they even proceeded farther, and dis- 
covered the doctrine of the immor- 
tality of the soul, as appears from 
Plato, who most amply discussed this 
subject. And, lastly, they gathered 
from this inward law, that God was 
the author and source of all that was 
good in nature, and therefore ought to 
be worshipped by an assiduous atten- 
tion to virtue, and with a pure heart. 
Hence, they defined virtue to be man's 
chief good ; and schools of moral vir- 
tue were accordingly instituted by 
Socrates, and by other heathen phi- 
losophers. This may be sufficient to 
convince us, that God, even since the 
fall, has allowed a spark of natural 
light to remain in men, in order that 
they might be admonished of their 
heavenly origin, and be assured, that 



20 



TEÜE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book I, 



it was only by following these foot- 
steps of divinity, that they could be 
restored to their former perfection. 
Some of the heathens themselves, 
have not been unacquainted with this 
truth; among whom is Aratus, the 
poet, quoted by St. Paul, who de- 
clares that "we are God's offspring." 
Acts 17 : 28. 

3. The Gentiles, however, stifling the 
testimony of conscience, contemned 
the light of nature, and " the work of 
the law written in their hearts" (Eom. 
2 : 15) j so that it cannot but be their 
own fault, that they are condemned 
and lost; and they are, as St. Paul 
argues, left altogether without excuse. 
Eom. 1 : 19, 20. And as the Gentiles 
knew, by nature, the justice of God, 
and that such as did evil were worthy 
of death; and yet not only committed 
evil but had pleasure in it; it follows, 
that they thereby condemned them- 
selves, whilst "their thoughts accus- 
ing or excusing one another," con- 
vinced them of the certainty of the 
day of judgment. Eom. 1 : 32; 2 : 15. 
But if the Gentiles shall be "inexcus- 
able," because, though endued with 
the natural knowledge of God, they 
sought him not, as was their duty; 
what shall they plead in their own be- 
half, to whom God hath given his Holy 
Word, and whom he hath so earnestly 
invited to repentance, by Jesus Christ 
his beloved Son ; in order that, forsak- 
ing the corruptions of the world, they 
might, by faith, apprehend the merits 
of the Saviour, and obtain eternal life 
and salvation ? 

4. Therefore, every false Christian 
shall, in the day of judgment, be con- 
demned by two mighty witnesses : by 
his own conscience or the law of nature, 
and likewise by the revealed Word of 
God, which will then judge him. In 
that day, " it shall be more tolerable 



for the land of Sodom," than for such 
false pretenders to religion. Matt. 11 : 
24. 

5. Their anguish and torment shall 
be without end; since God has made 
the soul immortal and planted the con- 
science in it, to be both a witness and 
a judge. The conscience can never 
throw off the recollection of God, and 
yet cannot of itself approach him; 
which must be attended with unutter- 
able pain to the soul, and expose it to 
the worm that dieth not, and to the 
fire that cannot be quenched. And 
the more the wicked have, through 
impenitence of heart, treasured up to 
themselves " wrath against the day of 
wrath" (Eom. 2 : 5), the more severe 
will this inward and eternal suffering 
be. For as God, in the exercise of his 
righteous judgment, gave up the Gen- 
tiles to a reprobate mind, because they 
sinned against their own consciences, 
and " the work of the law written in 
their hearts;" so that they became 
blind in their understandings, and 
rushed into every kind of filthy and 
abominable pollution ; thus drawing 
down upon themselves the wrath of 
God, denounced against all crimes that 
are committed against the light of 
knowledge : so the same doom (yea, 
and a far heavier one) will be inflicted 
upon those who rest in the mere pro- 
fession of the Christian faith, and deny 
the life and the power of godliness. 
The reason of this is obvious: such 
persons have contemned the inward 
as well as the outward word and testi- 
mony of God, and have not only per- 
severed in a state of impenitence, but 
have resisted the Divine Spirit, and 
blasphemed Him who favored them 
with the light of his Gospel. On this 
account, God gives them up to a rep- 
robate mind, so that they become worse 
than heathens and infidels. He sends 



Chap. VII.] 



TKUE CHKISTIANITY. 



21 



them "strong delusion, that they 
should believe a lie; that they all 
might be damned who believed not the 
truth, but had pleasure in unrighteous- 
ness." 2 Thess. 2:11, 12. 

6. This is the true reason why vices 
of so detestable a nature universally 
abound among Christians; many of 
which were not so much as known 
among the Pagan nations. "What sa- 
tanical pride, what insatiable covet- 
ousness, what unheard-of intemper- 
ance, what bestial lust; in a word, 
what inhuman wickedness, is not prac- 
tised by those who call themselves 
Christians ! And whence does all this 
arise, but from that blindness and hard- 
ness of heart, which they have con- 
tracted by confirmed habits of iniquity. 
"When those who are called Christians 
disdain to imitate the meek and lowly 
Jesus in their manners and their con- 
versation; when they are scandalized 
at him, and consider it disgraceful to 
look to him whom God has appointed 
to be the light of the world, and our 
great example (John 8 : 12); then the 
righteous God gives them up to follow 
Satan; to take upon them the life of the 
devil, his abominable impiety, wicked- 
ness, and lies; that they may execute 
with him all the works of darkness, 
inasmuch as they refuse to walk in the 
light. For thus saith the Lord, " Walk 
while ye have the light, lest darkness 
come upon you." John 12 : 35. 

7. Finally, if God gave up the hea- 
then to so terrible a blindness and so 
reprobate a mind ; and this because 
they proved disobedient to the glim- 
mering light of nature; or, as St. Paul 
expresses it, " because they did not 
like to retain God in their knowledge/' 
in order to be preserved by him (Eom. 
1 : 28) ; how much more shall those be 
banished from life and salvation, to 
whom the truth of God has come not 



only by natural light, but by means 
of his revealed word, and the new cov- 
enant, and who yet haughtily despise 
these special tenders of divine mercy! 
Of which new covenant, God thus 
speaks: "I will put my law in their 
inward parts, and write it in their 
hearts; and will be their God, and 
they shall be my people. And they 
shall teach no more every man his 
neighbor, and every man his brother, 
saying, Know the Lord ; for they shall 
all know me, from the least of them 
unto the greatest of them, saith the 
Lord ; for I will forgive their iniquity, 
and I will remember their sin no 
more." Jer. 31:33, 34; John 6:45. 

8. And here, let us also attend to 
that which the Apostle says, concern- 
ing those who offend wilfully. " If," 
says he, " we sin wilfully, after that 
we have received the knowledge of the 
truth, there remaineth no more sacri- 
fice for sins, but a certain fearful look- 
ing for of judgment and fiery indigna- 
tion, which shall devour the adver- 
saries. He that despised Moses' law," 
continues the Apostle, " died without 
mercy under two or three witnesses ; 
of how much sorer punishment, sup- 
pose ye, shall he be thought worthy, 
who hath trodden under foot the Son 
of God, and hath counted the blood of 
the covenant, wherewith he was sanc- 
tified, an unholy thing, and hath done 
despite unto the spirit of grace ? For 
we know him that hath said, Ven- 
geance beloDgeth unto me, I will re- 
compense, saith the Lord. It is a 
fearful thing to fall into the hands 
of the living God." Heb. 10 : 26-31. 
These words, however, are not pro- 
nounced in reference to those who fall 
through natural infirmity, but against 
them who sin wilfully and against 
knowledge, and who persevere to the 
end in a state of impenitence. 



22 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



NO ONE CAN FIND COMFORT IN CHRIST AND HIS MERITS, WHO DOES NOT TRULY 

REPENT. 



No unclean person was permitted to eat of the passover. — Exod. 12 : 48. 



IT was the declaration of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, u They that be whole 
need not a physician, but they that 
are sick. I am not come to call the 
righteous, but sinners to repentance." 
Matt. 9 : 12, 13. By this declaration 
the Lord teaches us, that he indeed 
calls sinners, but that he calls them 
to repentance; whence it is evident, 
that no man can come to Christ with- 
out true repentance and conversion 
from sin, and without a true faith. 

2. Now repentance consists in dying 
unto sin through true sorrow for our 
sins, and in obtaining the remission 
of sins through faith and living unto 
righteousness in Christ. There is no 
real repentance unless a genuine godly 
sorrow is first experienced, by which 
the heart is broken and the flesh cru- 
cified. Hence it is termed " repent- 
ance from dead works " (Heb. 6:1); 
or the renunciation of such works as 
issue in death. To abstain from dead 
works is, therefore, one of the princi- 
pal parts of true repentance. 

3. If we be not the subjects of this 
repentance, the merit of Christ profits 
us nothing ; nor can we lay the small- 
est claim to the benefits which thence 
accrue ; for Christ proffers his aid, as 
the physician of souls, and his blood, 
as the only effectual medicine for our 
spiritual maladies. 

4. But as not even the most precious 
remedy can effect a cure of a disorder 
unless the patient refrain from things 
that are hurtful in their tendency, and 



that resist the operation of the medi- 
cine, so the blood and death of Christ 
will be of no avail to him who does not 
fully resolve to forsake his sins, and to 
live up to the requirements of the gos- 
pel; for St. Paul says: "They who do 
such things (the works of the flesh), 
shall not inherit the kingdom of God," 
and, of course, have not any part in 
the Lord Jesus Christ. Gal. 5 : 21. 

5. Again, if Christ, by his most 
precious blood, is to become our med- 
icine, it cannot be doubted that we 
must be in a diseased state, and that 
we must, for ourselves, feel that we 
are so. The whole need not a phy- 
sician, but the sick only (Matt. 9 : 12) ; 
and none is spiritually sick (at least so 
as to be conscious of it) who does not 
experience unfeigned contrition for the 
sins which he has committed, and who 
has not a sense of the indignation of 
God which is excited against them. 
He is no proper patient for the phy- 
sician of souls who avoids not worldly 
lusts and vanities, honors and riches; 
but goes on in a state of spiritual un- 
concern, without any regard to his 
past life or his final salvation. Upon 
a man of this character, no cure can 
possibly be wrought. He does not see 
his distemper, and therefore needs no 
physician. In short, Christ profits 
him nothing, and his merits leave no 
saving effect upon his soul. 

6. Eemember, therefore, O man ! 
that Christ is come to call sinners to 
repentance ; and that it is only such as 



Chap. VIII.] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



23 



are broken in heart and contrite in 
spirit; only such as fervently desire 
and thirst after this righteousness that 
are in a condition to receive the saving 
influence of the blood, death, and 
merits of the Lord Jesus. 

7. Happy is he who feels in his 
heart, and still more happy he who 
proves obedient to this holy calling, 
that is, the "godly sorrow for sin, 
which worketh repentance to salva- 
tion not to be repented of," and which 
is the work of the Holy Spirit him- 
self. It arises, first, from the law, and 
from serious meditation on the passion 
of Christ, which abounds with loud 
invitations to unfeigned repentance. 
It exhibits, as in a mirror, both the 
wrath of God against sin, and also his 
infinite grace in saving the sinner. 
To make an atonement for our sins, 
Jesus shed his blood ; and love induced 
him to die for us while we were yet 
sinners. Eom. 5 : 8. Here the divine 
justice and clemency combine for the 
salvation of souls. 

8. How is it possible that a man 
who believes in Christ, should continue 
in sins which the Lord expiated at no 
less a price than his own most precious 
blood ? When, therefore, O man ! thou 
art tempted to pride and ambition, re- 
flect upon the contempt and humilia- 
tion to which Jesus submitted in order 
to atone for thy pride and thy am- 
bition. When thou art covetous after 
this world, think of the poverty which 
he underwent that he might make sat- 
isfaction for thy cupidity; and, surely, 
this will extinguish in thee the love of 
money and of worldly estates. What 
anguish and agony did Christ suffer 
on account of thy lusts and sinful 
pleasures; and art thou yet in pursuit 
of these pleasures that will leave be- 
hind them a mortal sting? Alas ! how 
great must be the corruption of our 



nature when we can delight in things 
for which our Eedeemer and Lord was 
sorrowful even unto death ! Christ 
died to expiate thy wrath, hatred, and 
enmity; to atone for thy bitterness 
and rancor, for thy love of revenge, 
and the implacableness of thy spirit. 
This he effected by his extreme mild- 
ness and patience, mercy and long-suf- 
fering. And wilt thou be angry on 
every trifling occasion, and esteem re- 
venge to be sweet, when, to atone for 
it, thy Eedeemer drank to the very 
dregs the cup of bitterness and afflic- 
tion? 

9. Truly as many as assume to them- 
selves the name of Christians, and yet 
do not forsake the pleasures of sin, 
" crucify Christ to themselves afresh, 
and put him to an open shame" (Heb. 
6:6); and it is, therefore, utterly im- 
possible that they should partake of 
that merit which they tread under 
foot. They pollute the blood of the 
everlasting covenant, and do not be- 
lieve that their sins are expiated by 
it. They do "despite unto the Spirit 
of grace;" they despise and resist him ; 
and, by their ungodly lives, scorn and 
contemn the grace of God offered in 
Christ Jesus. Heb. 10 : 29. Hence, the 
blood of the Saviour, which was shed 
for their sakes, cries aloud for ven- 
geance against them ; and this it does 
by the righteous judgment of God, 
which they thus draw down upon 
themselves, — a consideration that 
ought to strike a terror into every one 
that names the name of Christ. In- 
deed, "it is a fearful thing to fall into> 
the hands of the living God" (Heb». 
10 : 31); for he is a living God, and not 
a lifeless idol, incapable of punishing 
so scornful a contempt of his grace 
and mercy. 

10. With this divine wrath and ven- 
geance, even their own consciences» 



24 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I, 



threaten them, as inevitably following 
those who (though they know that it 
was to atone for sin that the Son of 
God died so ignominious a death) are 
yet not careful to put away their 
sins. 

11. It was for this reason that, soon 
after the death of Christ, repentance 
was preached over all the world ; 
namely, both because he died " for 
the sins of the whole world " (1 John 
2:2); and because in all places of the 
world men should repent. Acts 17 : 30. 
Thus it is said, "God now commandeth 
all men every where to repent," and to 
receive with a contrite, penitent, and 
believing heart the sovereign medicine 
purchased by the death of Christ, in 
order that the grace of God be not 
frustrated, but answer the end de- 
signed. 

12. Bemission of sins immediately 
follows true repentance; but how shall 
a man have his sins remitted when he 
does not repent of them, nay, when he 
still rejoices in them ? Nothing surely 
could be more preposterous than to 
expect that sins should be pardoned 
which a man has no design to re- 
nounce; and nothing can be more ab- 
surd than to seek consolation in the 
sufferings of Christ, and yet continue 
in the mire of sin which caused Christ's 
death. 

13. But certain and obvious as these 
truths are in themselves, there are 
many that call themselves Christians 
who never repented, and who yet will 
presume to lay claim to a share in the 
merits of Christ, and in the remission 
<of sins which he has purchased. They 
bave not ceased to indulge their ac- 
customed wrath, covetousness, pride, 
malice, envy, hypocrisy, and unright- 
eousness, but have rather become more 
and more enslaved by them; and yet, 
«alas ! they expect forgiveness of sin, 



and presumptuously apply to them- 
selves the merits of Christ as a defence 
against the impending judgment of 
Almighty God. And though this is 
one of the grossest and most palpable 
of errors, yet they do not hesitate to 
bestow upon it the specious name of 
faith, by which they hope for salva- 
tion. These are they that natter them- 
selves to their own destruction; fondly 
supposing that *they are true Chris- 
tians because they have a speculative 
knowledge of the Gospel, and because 
they believe that Jesus died for their 
sins. This, alas ! is not faith, but fancy; 
and thou art an unhappy, and most 
awfully infatuated false Christian, if 
thou canst suffer thyself to be deluded 
in this manner ! Never did the Word 
of God teach such a doctrine ; but the 
unvarying language of the inspired 
writers is: "If thou earnestly desirest 
the pardon of thy sins, repent of them, 
and firmly resolve to give up the prac- 
tice of them ; and thus, grieving from 
thy heart that thou hast so greatly 
offended God, and determining to lead 
a new life, believe on Jesus Christ, the 
great propitiation for the sins of the 
whole world." 

14. But how should that man feel 
sorrow for his sins, who will not be in- 
duced to quit them ? and how should 
he quit them, while he remains un- 
concerned about committing them? 
Christ, and all his apostles and proph- 
ets, unite in teaching thee, O man ! 
that thou must die to the world and 
to thy sins ; die to thy pride, thy cov- 
etousness, thy lust, and thy wrath; 
and that thou must return to the Lord 
with all thy heart, and implore his 
gracious pardon. And this being sin- 
cerely done, thou art absolved, and 
thy sins are forgiven. Then, the heav- 
enly physician looks upon thee gra- 
ciously ; for he is come to revive those 



Chap. VIII.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY 



25 



that are of a contrite spirit, and to 
bind up the broken in heart. Ps. 147 : 
3. But if thou eeekest for some other 
way to be saved, than that which is 
here pointed out, then Christ will 
profit thee nothing, and the boasting 
of thy faith is altogether vain. For 
true faith renews him who possesses 
it; it mortifies sin, and raises the soul, 
with Christ, into a new life ; for such 
a man lives, by faith in Christ, in his 
love, his humility, his meekness, and 
his patience. It is thus, O man ! that 
Jesus becomes unto thee the way of 
life, and thus thou becomest in him a 
"new creature." But if thou continu- 
est to commit thy favorite sins, and re- 
mainest unwilling to die to the corrupt 
bent of '-'the old man" (Rom. 6:6; 
Eph. 4 : 22), how wilt thou pretend to 
be a new creature? How is it possible 
for thee to belong to Christ, when 
thou dost not " crucify the flesh, with 
its affections and lusts?" Gal. 5 : 24. 

15. Even if thou shouldst listen to 
ten sermons in one day, shouldst con- 
fess thy sins eveiy month, and receive 
the Lord's Supper, thou wouldst de- 
rive no benefit from such exercises, 
nor obtain the remission of sins; the 
reason is, that thou hast not a peni- 
tent, contrite, and believing heart, 
which can be reached by the healing 
influences of the medicine. The Word 
of God and the Sacraments are, indeed, 
salutary remedies; but they are such 
to those alone who unfeignedly repent 
and believe. What would it profit, to 
anoint a stone with costly ointment? 
What harvest shalt thou reap, if thou 
sowest among briers and thorns ? First 
pull up the thorns and thistles that 
choke the good seed, and, then, thou 
may est reasonably expect the precious 
fruit. Luke 8: 7. And, in fine, Christ 
will never profit thee at all, if thou con- 
tinuest to love sin rather than Him. 



The birth of the Saviour is of no ad- 
vantage to a man whose aim it is not 
to be born with him ; nor shall his 
death avail for any, who are not dis- 
posed to die to sin, and to mortify the 
deeds of the flesh. Rom. 6:11. So, 
the resurrection of Christ will benefit 
none who will not rise from sin, and 
live unto righteousness; nor will his 
ascension prove a blessing to any who 
refuse to ascend with him, and to have 
their conversation in heaven. 

16. But when, on the contrary, a 
man, like the Prodigal Son, truly re- 
turns to his offended father, deplor- 
ing, hating, and forsaking his sins; 
when he earnestly seeks forgiveness, 
and, with the eye of faith, beholds 
Christ and his bleeding wounds, as 
the Israelites beheld the serpent of 
brass, and lived (Numb. 21:9); when, 
at last, under a real sense of guilt, he 
cries out with the penitent publican, 
"God be merciful to me a sinner" 
(Luke 18: 13); then, then, the pardon 
is granted, the absolution is sealed, 
however great and many the sins be 
which he has committed against his 
God. 

17. Such is the efficacy of the re- 
demption which the blood of Christ 
has effected, and of so extensive a na- 
ture is his merit, that it is fully im- 
puted, through faith, to every peni- 
tent soul. Thus is brought to pass the 
scripture, "He giveth repentance and 
forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5 : 31); that 
is, he pardons the repentant sinner 
freely and wholly, for Christ's sake. 
For it is a pleasure with God to exer- 
cise mercy, and to forgive a sinner. 
"My bowels are troubled for him; I 
will surely have mercy upon him, saith 
the Lord." Jer. 31: 20; Hoseall: 8. 
Then it is, that the death of Christ is 
rendered truly effectual; and then it 
is, that the angels of God rejoice in 



26 



TKUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



heaven (Luke 15: 7), because the blood | poor sinner for whom He had died, 
of Christ was not shed in vain for the I 1 Cor. 8: 11. 



CHAPTER IX. 



THE UNCHRISTIAN WALK OF MANY PERSONS IN OUR DAY, IS A CAUSE OE THE 
REJECTION OF CHRIST AND OF THE TRUE FAITH. 

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. — 2 Tim. 3 : 5. 



EYEEY one calls himself by the 
Christian name, even though he 
do not perform the least part of what 
he thereby professes; and, by this 
means, the Saviour is denied, con- 
temned, blasphemed, scourged, cruci- 
fied, and, as it were, cast out of the 
sight of men, as dead. The Apostle 
expressly declares, that some persons 
"crucify the Son of God afresh." 
Heb. 6 : 6. 

2. Would to God that Christ were 
not, even in our days, crucified again 
and again among those who call them- 
selves after his name, and honor him 
with their lips j and yet, by their anti- 
christian lives and actions, utterly re- 
ject and deny him. His most holy, 
humble, and exemplary life is, at this 
day, to be found among but few ; and 
wherever there is not the life of Christ, 
there Christ is not himself, however 
loudly the faith and the doctrine may 
be commended. For the Christian 
faith without a Christian life is a tree 
without fruit. True faith works by 
lovo (Gal. 5:6); and wherever it is 
found, there Christ dwells, with all 
his divine graces and virtues. Eph. 
3:17. 

3. But when these are not expressed 
in the lives of those who profess his 
doctrine, there Christ himself is rooted 
up and denied; for it is only where 
true faith exists that Christ dwells. 



4. Now Christ hath said, "Whoso- 
ever shall deny me before men, him 
will I also deny before my Father and 
the angels." Matt. 10 : 33; Luke 12 : 9. 
This denial of Christ is not only made 
in words (as by those who renounce 
Christ and Christianity), but it is also 
done when, by our lives and actions, 
we wilfully sin against the Saviour 
and resist the Holy Ghost. St. Paul 
speaks of some who " profess that they 
know God, but in works deny Mm" (Tit. 
1:16); and it is certain that Christ 
is no less denied by a wicked and Sa- 
tanic life, than he is by a verbal ab- 
juration. It is with hypocrisy and 
an empty profession of the faith as it 
is with open wickedness ; and this is 
strikingly illustrated by our Lord's 
parable of the two sons, who were 
commanded by their father to go and 
work in his vineyard. The one {openly 
denying) said, "I will not;" while the 
other {professing obedience) said, " I 
go, sir," and went not. Matt. 21 : 
28-30. 

5. This is a forcible representation 
of those Christians who make religion 
to consist in empty profession without 
obedience. They will cry "Yea, yea," 
and "Lord, Lord!" (Matt. 7 : 21),. and 
yet are worse than others, because 
they pretend to be children of the 



Father, and yet do 
spect, obey his will. 



not, m any re- 
Their character 



Chap. X.] 



TKUE CHEISTIAXITY. 



27 



is thus given by St. Paul : " Having a 
form of godliness, but denying the 
power thereof." 2 Tim. 3 : 5. Now, 
what is it to deny the power of godli- 
ness but to deny Christ himself, and 
to shake off allegiance to him, and 
thus to act the part of a heathen 
under the mask and name of a Chris- 
tian? These are "the children of un- 



belief or disobedience/' in whom the 
spirit, not of Christ, but of this world, 
worketh. Eph. 2 : 2. They, therefore, 
who usurp a Christian's name, and yet 
do not a Christian's work, shall be de- 
nied, in their turn, by the Saviour 
when he shall pronounce the sentence : 
" I never knew you: depart from me, 
ye that work iniquity." Matt. 7 : 23. 



CHAPTER X. 

THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD ARE AGAINST CHRIST, AND, CONSEQUENTLY, 
THEIR LIFE AND THEIR CHRISTIANITY ARE BOTH ALIKE FALSE. 

He that is not with me is against me. — Matt. 12 : 30. 



IF the conduct of the generality of 
men in the present age be exam- 
ined by the standard of life and doc- 
trine left us by Christ, we must soon 
come to the conclusion that it is 
wholly unchristian, and totally repug- 
nant to his example. The lives of 
men in our day are, in too many cases, 
made up of insatiable avarice, sordid 
and self-seeking manners, worldly- 
mindedness, worldly cares, the lust 
of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and 
the pride of life; disobedience, wrath, 
strife, hatred, malice, contentions, and 
a violent thirst after human applause, 
pomps, and dignities. Add to these 
the jealousies, the revenge, tho secret 
feuds and envyings, the unforgiving 
spirit, the injustice and hypocrisy, the 
frauds and calumnies, the lies and per- 
juries, together with all the impurity 
and unrighteousness with which the 
world so exceedingly abounds. In 
short, the whole life of the children 
of this generation consists of the love 
of the world, self-love, self-honor, and 
self-seeking. 



2. To all this th.e life of Christ is 
entirely opposed; it can have no sort 
of communion with it. His life is 
nothing else but pure and sincere love 
to God and men. It is composed of 
humanity and kindness, of meekness 
and patience, of humility and obedi- 
ence even unto death, of mercy and 
righteousness, of truth and simplicity, 
of purity and holiness, of contempt of 
the world, its honors, wealth, and 
pleasures; of self-denial ; of the cross, 
tribulations, and afflictions; of fervent 
desires after the kingdom of God, and 
after the fulfilment of the divine will. 
This is the life of Christ, to which the 
false Christianity of the present age is 
so greatly opposed. 

3. If, then, it be the truth that he 
who is not with Christ is accounted as 
one that is against him ; and he that 
standeth not in the will of God, as he 
that withstandeth it (and we know that 
this is the meaning of the language of 
our Lord himself), it is most evident 
that the generality of those who make 
a public profession of the Christian 



28 



TKTJE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book L 



faith, not being with Christ, must be 
against him. They have no commu- 
nion with him, but are contrary to 
him; they are not led by a Christian, 
but by an anti christian spirit. Scarcely 
any, indeed, are to be found who are 
of one soul, one will, one mind, and 
one spirit with him; and yet only 
these can be Christ's, or be accounted 
his disciples. It is in reference to the 
latter that the apostle speaks when he 
says, they have " the mind of Christ" 
(1 Cor. 2 : 16) ; and, in another place, 
"Let this mind be in you which was 
also in Christ Jesus." Phil. 2 : 5. The 
children of the world have not this 
mind, and it is hence certain that they 
are not with but against Christ. Now 
whatever any man's profession and 
doctrine be, he who is thus against 
Christ in his life and actions, is most 
undoubtedly an antichrist. 1 John 
2:18. 

4. "Where, alas ! shall we now find 
true Christians, in the midst of so 
many unchristian disorders that univer- 
sally abound ? How justly may they be 
termed " a little flock !" (Luke 12 : 32) 
as they were called by our Lord him- 
self. How justly has the prophet 
Isaiah compared the church to a soli- 
tary cottage in a vineyard, and to a 
wasted city ! Isa. 1:8. " Woe is me !" 
exclaims Micah, " I am as when they 



have gathered the summer fruits, as 
the grape-gleanings of the vintage : 
there is no cluster to eat : my soul 
desires the first ripe fruit. The good 
man is perished out of the earth ; and 
there is none upright among men." 
Micah 7 : 1, 2. See also Ps. 74 : 19; 
102 : 7. 

5. God alone knows where and who 
these are : but be they where and who 
they may, assuredly Christ is with 
them, yea, in them, " alway, even 
unto the end of the world." Matt. 28: 
20. Nor will he ever leave them with- 
out sufficient succor ; tl I will not 
leave you comfortless," he says ; " I 
will come unto you." John 14 : 18. 
For he knoweth them that are his, 
and those whom he is said to know, he 
watches over with never-ceasing and 
distinguishing care. " The founda- 
tion of God standeth sure, having this 
seal, The Lord knoweth them that are 
his." But who are his? The answer 
is immediately annexed : " Let every 
one that nameth the name of Christ 
depart from iniquity." 2 Tim. 2 : 19. 
But let those who are not disposed to 
obey this injunction, assume some 
other name that shall better accord 
with their conduct; and let them not 
name His name, until they conform 
to His life by a living faith. 



Chap. XL] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



29 



CHAPTER XL 

SHOWING THAT HE DOES NOT TRULY REPENT, IS NOT A CHRISTIAN, AND NOT A 
CHILD OF GOD, WHO DOES NOT, IN HIS LIFE AND CONDUCT, FOLLOW CHRIST J 
ALSO, WHEREIN THE NEW BIRTH AND THE YOKE OF CHRIST CONSIST. 

Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. — 1 Pet. 2 : 21. 



GOD has appointed our Lord Jesus 
Christ to be our prophet or 
teacher ; and, by a voice from heaven, 
has commanded us to hear him ; say- 
ing, " This is my beloved Son, in 
whom I am well pleased : hear ye 
him." Matt. 17:5. This office was 
most faithfully executed by the Son 
of God, not only in words, but (as be- 
came a teacher engaged in so sacred 
a function) by a most holy and un- 
blemished life. In allusion to this, 
St. Luke thus prefaces his account 
of the Acts of the Apostles: "The 
former treatise have I made, O The- 
ophilus, of all that Jesus began both 
to do and teach, etc."; where, it is to 
be remarked, that he places doing be- 
fore teaching; intimating that these 
ought never to be separated. It cer- 
tainly is the duty of every true 
teacher, first, to practise himself the 
duties which he purposes to teach 
others. Such a teacher was our Lord 
Jesus ; and his conduct is the pattern 
of teaching, and the book of life which 
we ought to study. 

2. It was for this cause, that the 
Son of God became man, and con- 
versed with men upon earth, that he 
might give us a visible example of an 
innocent, perfect, and divine life ; and 
that we might follow him as a light 
that shineth in darkness, to lead us 
in the way in which we should go. 



Hence he calls himself " the light of 
the world;" and promises that "he 
who followeth him shall not walk in 
darkness, but shall have the light of 
life." John 8 : 12. 

3. Hence it clearly appears, that 
they who refuse to follow Christ in his 
life, and to tread by faith in his steps, 
remain in darkness, and are not in the 
way to obtain " the light of life." But 
what is this darkness? It is an impen- 
itent and depraved life, called by the 
apostle "works of darkness," which 
are to be cast off, that so Ave may put 
on " the armor of light " (Eom. 13 : 12) j 
and in genuine repentance both these 
duties are comprised. 

4. It has been abundantly proved 
above, that godly sorrow and true 
faith thoroughly change a man ; that 
they crucify the flesh, effect an entire 
transformation in the soul, and beget, 
through the Holy Ghost, a new life. 
Lest, however, this should be a mere 
theoretical knowledge, devoid of life 
and practice, God has been pleased to 
set before us his own Son, not only as 
a ransom and a Mediator, but also as 
a mirror of perfect godliness, and as a 
most finished pattern of the new man, 
who is regenerated after the image 
of God. In him, the fleshly Adam, 
the corrupt nature, never reigned; but 
the blessed God alone. Him it hath 
pleased God to set forth before our 



30 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



eyes, that, contemplating him and his 
righteous life, we might be daily more 
and more renewed after his image. 
Let us explain this point more fully. 

5. Sad experience teaches us con- 
tinually, that our whole nature, body 
and soul, is polluted with every kind 
of sin, vice, and corruption. These 
are the works of the devil appearing 
in the carnal man ; and it is principally 
in the depraved and perverted will, 
that these diabolical operations are 
most visibly discerned. For the de- 
praved will is the root of all sin : if 
that were removed, there would be sin 
no more. With regard to the power 
and natural bias of this will, it consists 
chiefly in turning man away from God 
and from His will. Now, whatever de- 
parts from that Being who is the sove- 
reign and supreme Good, cannot but 
be in itself evil; for it partakes of the 
nature of the supreme evil, and is a 
violation of the original constitution 
of our nature, as derived from God 
himself. It was this turning away from 
God that produced the fall both of 
Satan and of man ; whence sin entered 
into the world, and has, by fleshly gen- 
eration, passed upon all men. 

6. The nature of man is then inoc- 
ulated with the nature of the devil him- 
self, and his will tainted with satan- 
ical wickedness, as with deadly poison. 
Hence Christ called the Pharisees 
"children of the devil" (John 8:44); 
and even to one of his own disciples 
gave the name of Satan (John 6 :70); 
intimating as though the covetousness, 
lying, pride, and evil concupiscence, 
by which the nature of all men is de- 
filedj were Satan himself. 

7. Hence it may, with all propriety, 
be affirmed, that they who lead a life 
void of repentance, a life of pride, 
avarice, lust, and envy, live in the 
devil, and partake of his nature. Such 



persons may assume the garb of hon- 
esty ; they may veil their real charac- 
ters under a fair show of morality and 
correct deportment; yet, inwardly, ac- 
cording to the saying of Christ to the 
Jews, they are, nevertheless, devils. 
John 8 : 44. Such a declaration is 
dreadful to be made ; but the truth of 
it is confirmed, both by the Word of 
God and by continual experience. 

8. Our nature, as fallen creatures, 
being thus miserably depraved, thus 
desperately perverted, and vitiated in 
all its springs; there is an absolute 
necessity that it should be purified 
and renewed. There must be a total 
renovation of the soul ; in all its powers 
and all its faculties. But how shall 
this be effected? .We answer: As the 
chief evil has made a breach upon our 
nature, and has infused poison into its 
very springs; so must the chief Good 
revisit and renew our nature, that it 
may be assimilated to itself. That 
which the supreme evil has so radi- 
cally corrupted, can be corrected only 
by a thorough and vital penetration of 
the supreme Good, even of God him- 
self; and, therefore, it was necessary 
that the Word should be made flesh. 

9. The Son of God truly became 
man, not for his own sake, but for our 
sakes ; that, by reconciling us to God 
by himself, he might make us par- 
takers of the sovereign good, having 
cleansed and sanctified us, to that 
end; for whatever is to be sanctified, 
must be sanctified by God and with 
God. And as God is in Christ, so 
ought wc to be united to him by faith, 
that we may live in God, and God in 
us; we in Christ, and Christ in us 
(2 Cor. 5: 19, 21); that the will of 
God be in us, and we in the will of 
God, being made the righteousness of 
God in Christ. 2 Cor. 5: 21. This is 
the only way in which Christ admin- 



Chap. XL] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



31 



isters medicine to our corrupt nature; 
and the more powerfully he influences 
man, the more thoroughly will human 
nature be purified. 

10. Oh ! how blessed is the man in 
whom Christ does all and is all ; whose 
will, thoughts, mind, and words, are 
the will, thoughts, mind, and words of 
Christ ! It was thus the apostle said, 
"We have the mind of Christ." 1 Cor. 
2 : 16. And so indeed it must be with 
the believer; because the life of Christ 
is the new life, yea, the new man in 
him; and whoever lives in Christ after 
the Spirit, hath really put on the new 
man, and all the graces with which he 
is adorned. His meekness and obedi- 
ence are the meekness and obedience 
of Christ; his patience and humility 
are the patience and humility of 
Christ; and his life itself is the life 
of Christ, by whom and in whom he 
lives. This is the "new creature" 
which is created after Cod (2 Cor. 5: 
17); and that life of Christ in us, of 
which St. Paul experimentally says, 
"I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in 
me." Gal. 2 : 20. This is to follow 
Christ truly. This is to walk in the 
light of his life, and to bring forth 
"fruits meet for repentance;" for, by 
this means, the "old man" is de- 
stroyed, the carnal life gradually de- 
clines, and the new and divine life is 
established in the soul. He who has 
this life is not a nominal, but a real 
Christian; a Christian not in word 
and in appearance only, but in deed 
and in truth. He is a true child of 
God, begotten of Him, and quickened 
and renewed by faith after the image 
of Jesus Christ. 

11. Although we cannot attain to a 
state of perfection, while encompassed 
with so many infirmities that obstruct 
our progress in the divine life, we 
ought not, therefore, to be discouraged, 



but rather to be inspired with more 
fervor in seeking after a consumma- 
tion so much to be desired. We ought 
ardently to wish and pray, to endea\or 
and study, that the kingdom of Christ 
be established within us, and the king- 
dom of Satan destroyed. 1 John 3:9; 
Eph. 2:5. The object of our cares 
and efforts, of our groans and prayers, 
should be — how we may more and 
more mortify the old man by daily 
repentance. For, the more a man dies 
to himself, the more Christ lives in 
him; the more corruptions are removed 
by the good Spirit of God, the more 
divine grace possesses the heart. In 
proportion as the flesh is crucified, the 
spirit is quickened; as the works of 
darkness are put off, the armor of* light 
from above is put on; and in the same 
degree as the outward man perisheth, 
the inward man is strengthened and 
renewed. 2 Cor. 4 : 16 ; Col. 3 : 5. The 
decrease of the carnal life, is the in- 
crease of that which is spiritual and 
divine. As the affections of the former, 
self-love, ambition, wrath, covetous- 
ness, and voluptuousness, are weak- 
ened and subdued, so are opposite 
affections of the spiritual life invigo- 
rated and raised. The farther a man 
departs from the world, from "the lust 
of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and 
the pride of life " (1 John 2 : 16) ; the 
more do God, Christ, and the Holy 
Spirit enter into the heart and dwell 
there. And, on the other hand, the 
more nature, flesh, darkness, and the 
world, reign in man; the less of grace, 
light, the Holy Spirit, God, and Christ, 
is there to be found in him. 

12. This spiritual life is enmity to 
the flesh, because the latter is hereby 
restrained, subdued, and brought under 
the yoke, and crucified with its "affec- 
tions and lusts." In this, however, 
consist the power, efficacy, and fruit 



32 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



of true repentance. The nature of 
flesh and blood is to lead a lawless, 
dissolute, and voluptuous life, unshac- 
kled by restraint, and entirely agree- 
able to its own will and humor. It is 
this which it nods sweet, and in which 
it rejoices. To the flesh and the "old 
man," the life of Christ is a most severe 
cross, and an intolerable burden; but 
to the new and spiritual man, "this 
yoke is easy and this burden light" 
(Matt. 11 : 30), and attended with di- 
vine serenity and peace of mind. For 
the true rest of the soul will be sought 
for in vain, unless in faith in Christ ; 
in his meekness and humility, patience 
and love. Here he hath himself pro- 
mised, "Ye shall find rest unto your 
souls." Yea, he that really loves the 
I Lord Jesus, will not deem it hard to 
suffer even death for his sake, but ac- 
count it a joy and a happiness. Such 
is the yoke of the Saviour, which we 
are invited to take upon us, that we 
may find "rest unto our souls." 

13. It is necessary, therefore, that 
every one who is resolved to take upon 
himself the yoke of Christ, and to im- 
itate His holy example, should, in the 
first place, shake off the yoke of Satan, 
and repress the carnal, selfish, and un- 
ruly propensities of his fallen nature, 
in order that the flesh may vex the 
spirit no more. All must be subju- 
gated to the obedience of Christ, to 
the wise and righteous discipline of 
his law ; that is, the will, understand- 
ing, reason, and appetites, together 
with the sensual desires of the old 
Adam, that before reigned in the mor- 
tal body, must henceforth yield a free 
obedience to the government of the 
Lord. Eom. 6 : 12. 

14. True it is that the flesh is highly 
gratified when honored, courted, and 
praised, and when abounding in the 
riches and pleasures of this life ; but 



the yoke of Christ, by which the flesh 
is mortified and subdued, requires us 
to prefer ignominy, contempt, and pov- 
erty, to affluence and honor; to ac- 
count ourselves unworthy of these 
things, and freely to give up all that 
is great in the estimation of the world. 
It is here that the humility and life of 
Christ are most striking and apparent. 
This is the "yoke" and this the "bur- 
den," which are easy and light to the 
spirit; this is the law of love, the com- 
mandments of which are not grievous 
but delightful. 1 John 5 : 3. What was 
the whole life of Christ but holy pov- 
erty, extreme contempt, and severe 
persecution? Is it not true that he 
" came not to be ministered unto, but 
to minister, and to give his life a ran- 
som for many" ? Matt. 20 : 28. 

15. It is the tendency of the natural 
man to desire to excel others, and to 
be thought of importance; but the 
spiritual man loves the humility of 
the Eedeemer, and desires to be re- 
puted as nothing in this world. The 
carnal man, that follows the propen- 
sities of corrupt nature, and has never 
learned of Christ humility, meekness, 
and love, deems it folly to live as 
Jesus lived, and thinks those only are 
wise who indulge their appetites in 
security, and satiate themselves with 
every object which they desire; and 
when such a one most lives in the 
devil, he is so blinded by ignorance 
and darkness as to esteem his own 
life the happiest that can be desired, 
and to applaud himself in his own 
folly. And hence it is that these de- 
luded wretches, following the false 
light of carnal wisdom, are not only 
deceived themselves, but are the means 
of involving others in the same ruin. 
They, on the contrary, whose minds 
have been enlightened by the true 
and eternal light, are struck with 



Chap. XI.] 



TEXTE CHRISTIANITY. 



33 



horror and surprise whenever they 
cast their eyes upon the pomps and 
vanities of this world, upon the am- 
bition and pride, the wrath and re- 
venge, the intemperance and voluptu- 
ousness, and the other fruits of the 
carnal life which universally abound. 
Their language is: "Alas! how far re- 
moved is all this from Christ ! How 
far from true repentance and the 
knowledge of Jesus is the man that 
acts thus ! How far from the nature 
and disposition of a child of God! 
Alas I he is still dead in sins, and a 
slave of the devil." That man, there- 
fore, who does not imitate the life of 
Christ, is an entire stranger to true 
repentance; he is not a Christian, nor 
a child of God; nay, he is wholly ig- 
norant of Jesus Christ; for he who 
desires to know Christ savingly, both 
as the Saviour of the world and as the 
great exemplar of life, must know him 
to be pure meekness, gentleness, and 
love, and to be wholly composed of 
patience and humility. This living 
ensample of goodness and piety which 
the Lord hath set before him, he must 
carry in his heart, and must labor to 
be transformed into its image. The 
virtues that resided in Christ he must 
have within himself; and if he would 
ever effectually know him, he must 
love and admire them in his inward 
soul. As a plant discovers its nature 
by the fragrance which it diffuses 
around, so the knowledge of Christ 
discovers itself by the sweet and sa- 
cred odors which proceed from it. 
Then is acquired an experimental 
knowledge of the life, power, rest, and 
consolation which flow from the Sa- 
viour; which circulate through all the 
faculties of the soul, and quicken them 
by a kind of spiritual sweetness. Thus 
is man made to "taste how good the 
Lord is" (Ps. 34: 8); thus is the truth 



known, and the supreme and eternal 
good apprehended and enjoyed. And 
thus is it certainly ascertained that the 
life of Christ is infinitely superior to 
every other life in goodness and sweet- 
ness, in dignity and in peace; yea, that 
it resembles life eternal itself, being in- 
deed the foretaste of such a life upon 
earth. 

16. As there is nothing more excel- 
lent than the life of Christ, nothing 
more delightful, more peaceful, or 
more satisfying to the soul, it ought 
to have no rival in our affections, but 
to be endeared to us above all things 
else. He who is destitute of Christ 
and of his knowledge, can form no 
conception of the rest and quiet of 
eternal life; or of the sovereign good; 
or of the everlasting truth ; or of the 
imperishable word ; or of the joy of 
the soul ; or of the true light of love ; 
for all these centre in Christ, and he 
who has him has them; because Christ 
is all these to the man who truly be- 
lieves in his holy name. " Every one 
that loveth is born of God, and know- 
eth God. He that loveth not, knoweth 
not God; for God is love." 1 John 4 : 
7,8. 

17. It is, therefore, most evident 
that the fruits and effect of the new 
birth do not consist in words, however 
sound, or in a form of godliness, how- 
ever specious, but in an abiding sub- 
stance, even in that love which is God 
himself. A son bears the image of 
him who begat him ; and whoever is 
born of God should evidence it by love, 
for God is love; and hence it is clear 
that "he that dwelleth in love, dwell- 
eth in God, and God in him." 1 John 
4 : 16. 

18. The knowledge of God, in like 
manner, does not consist in words, 
nor in merely speculative and super- 
ficial knowledge, but in a vital, coa- 



34 



TEXTE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



solatory, and divine feeling, in a pure 
and unmixed pleasure, gently infusing 
itself into the heart by faith, and pen- 
etrating it with an unutterable and 
heavenly sweetness. This is a true, 
living, and efficacious knowledge of 
God; such as that which the Psalmist 
means when he says, " My heart and 
my flesh cry out for the living God" 
(Ps. 84:2); and again, "Thy loving 
kindness (as experienced in the di- 



vine sensations of my soul) is better 
than life" (Ps. 63:3); that is, this 
divine life infinitely transcends every 
other life; in which it is evident that 
he means that unutterable joy which 
is produced by an experimental knowl- 
edge of God, and which is infused into 
a believing heart. Thus man liveth 
in God, and God in man ; and thus 
man knoweth God in truth, and is 
known of God. 



CHAPTER XII. 



THE TRUE CHRISTIAN DIES UNTO HIMSELF AND THE WORLD, AND LIVES IN CHRIST. 

Christ died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto 
him which died for them, and rose again. — 2 Cor. 5 : 15. 



" /^HRIST," says the apostle, "died 
\J for all, that they which live 
should not henceforth live unto them- 
selves, but unto him which died for 
them, and rose again." Besides that 
this sentence is replete with divine 
consolation, declaring that Jesus died 
for all, it inculcates a lesson of the 
most salutary nature, namely, that we 
should live not unto ourselves, but 
unto him who died for us. To live to 
him, however, before we are dead to 
ourselves, is impossible. If, therefore, 
thy resolution be to live to Christ, 
thou must certainly die to the world 
and to thyself; but if thou rather in- 
clinest to live to the world and to 
thyself, it follows that thou must re- 
nounce thy communion with the Sa- 
viour. For what communion hath 
light with darkness, Christ with the 
world, or the Spirit with the flesh? 
2 Cor. 6 : 14, 15. 

2. There are three kinds of death : 
the one spiritual, the second natural, 



and the third eternal. The first occurs 
when a man dies daily to himself; 
that is, to his own carnal desires, to 
his avarice, pride, lust, and wrath, 
and such other sins and passions as 
have their rise in a corrupt nature. 

3. It is of the second kind of death 
that the apostle speaks, where he 
says, "To me to live is Christ, and to 
die is gain." Phil. 1 : 21. As if he 
had said, Christ is the life and death, 
the gain and advantage of the be- 
liever, even when he passes through 
natural death, for, by it, he exchanges 
a short and miserable life for an eter- 
nal and blessed one ; and earthly ob- 
jects for possessions that are eternal 
and divine: an exchange which can- 
not but prove in the highest degree 
gainful to himself. 

4. If, however, any think that the 
apostle's language is also to be under- 
stood of the spiritual death of sin, they 
will not commit an error. For thrice 
happy is the soul to whom, in this 



Chap. XII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



85 



sense, " to live is Christ :" thrice 
happy the soul in which Jesus lives 
by faith, and that imitates the graces 
which manifested themselves in him, 
especially those of humility and meek- 
ness. But alas ! by far the greater 
part of men have put on the life of 
the devil rather than the life of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, by yielding to 
avarice, pride, anger, and other un- 
holy passions. 

5. Awake, therefore, O man ! and 
consider who it is that liveth in thee. 
If thou canst truly affirm, " to me, to 
live is Christ," happy art thou, as it 
respects both this world and the world 
to come. Here, even on earth, let 
Christ be thy life, that he may be thy 
life to all eternity: and in order to 
this, account it the greatest of gain, 
when thou art enabled to die to the 
world and to thy own corruptions. 
Then, in both senses, for thee, to live 
is Christ, and to die, gain. What, in- 
deed, can be more profitable or ad- 
vantageous, than to die, in this re- 
spect, to all thy sinful desires and af- 
fections? Go on, then, in the Lord, 
and never faint, allowing Christ to 
live in thee now, that thou mayest 
also live with him hereafter. 

6. No man is capable of settled 
peace and tranquillity, who is dis- 
tracted and disturbed with earthly 
desires and designs ; therefore, before 
thou canst live unto Christ, thou must 
die to the flesh and to the world. 
This dying to self and living to Christ, 
may be illustrated by a reference to 
several types and histories in the 
Old Testament. 

7. Thus, as the promise relative to 
Christ, and the seal of it by circum- 
cision, were not given to Abraham, 
until he had quitted his father's house 
and relinquished his earthly inherit- 
ance (Gen. 12 : 1, and 17 : 10), so man, 



as long as his affections cleave to the 
world, is unprepared to receive the 
promise which is by the Saviour; and 
as long as he refuses to die to it, and 
deny himself, so long it is impossible 
that he should enjoy Christ, or the 
things which are His. 

8. Jesus can never live in thy soul, 
until thou art dead to the affections 
of carnal nature. St. Paul was thus 
dead ; and hence he could say, " I live, 
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" 
(Gal. 2 : 20) ; and writing to the church 
at Colosse, he says, "Ye are dead, and 
your life is hid with Christ in God." 
Col. 3:3. 

9. A man may be considered as 
dead to sin, when sin dies in him, and 
he ceases from the commission of it. 
The same apostle says, " If we live in 
the Spirit, let us also walk in the 
Spirit." Gal. 5 : 25. If we live in 
Christ, we must walk even as he 
walked ; for it is not sufficient to boast 
of the Spirit in words, while our words 
are not confirmed by our works; or 
of faith, while this is not evidenced by 
its fruits. Indeed it is said unto all, — 
" If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die j 
but if ye, through the Spirit, do mor- 
tify the deeds of the body, ye shall 
live." Eom. 8 : 13. 

10. Multitudes, however, may be 
compared to Saul, who, instead of 
slaying Agag (1 Sam. 15 : 8), accord- 
ing to the commandment of God, only 
cast him into prison. They do not 
destroy their lusts and sinful desires ; 
but are contented to conceal, and as 
it were imprison them, that at a fu- 
ture opportunity, they may indulge 
them with the greater secresy. Eut 
let us carefully avoid this trifling ; and 
instead of subjecting our corrupt pro- 
pensities to a temporary restraint, let 
us lay the axe of mortification to the 
very root : for unless this be effected, 



36 



TEITE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



we shall, like Saul, be cast out from 
the kingdom, and lose the crown of 
everlasting life. 

11. Some professed friends of reli- 
gion resemble trees, the leaves of 
which fall off when winter approaches, 
but their foliage appears again when 
the season becomes more favorable 
and mild; for in the winter of adver- 
sity, they conceal their lusts, and re- 
strain their sinful propensities; but 
when prosperity smiles upon them, 
they break out again, as at the first, 
and return to their evil ways. This 
is an evidence of hypocrisy ; whereas 
a true Christian is in all circum- 
stances, and under every vicissitude, 
whether public or private, always the 
same, and remains unalterably fixed 
in his God. He is the same both in 
prosperity and adversity, in poverty 
and in affluence, steadily cleaving to 
God, and meeting with resignation 
every affliction that Providence lays 
upon him. 

12. The history of Ahab (1 Kings 
20 : 42) furnishes us with another in- 
stance, not much unlike the case of 
Saul; for, in opposition to the com- 
mand of God, he spared the life of the 
king of Syria; and, in consequence, 
sentence went forth against him, and 
his life was required for that of the 
captive king. They who nourish in 
their breasts those lusts which are 
the enemies of God and of themselves, 
and which are appointed to destruc- 
tion, voluntarily draw upon them- 



selves everlasting death and damna- 
tion. 

13. Neither prayer nor a devout 
spirit can ever be perfected in man, 
without the mortification of the flesh. 
Thus God appointed that every beast 
which approached the holy mount of 
Sinai should be destroyed. Exod. 19 : 
12, 13. How much more does it be- 
hoove us to slay our unholy lusts and 
affections, if we would ever ascend the 
mountain of the Lord's house (Isaiah 
2 : 2, 3 ; Mic. 4 : 2), offer up the incense 
of prayer, or meditate upon the Word 
of God! If we neglect to do this, we 
are already judged, and shall be ban- 
ished forever from the presence of the 
Lord. 

14. Jacob (Gen. ch. 29) served for his 
beloved Eachel twice seven years; and 
love so alleviated his toil, that the 
years seemed but as so many days: 
thus, for the salvation of our souls, 
did Christ Jesus undergo thirty and 
three years' service, and what Jacob 
said of himself is, in an eminent de- 
gree, applicable to Him: "In the day, 
the drought consumed me, and the 
frost by night; and my sleep departed 
from mine eyes" (Gen. 31:40): "for 
the Son of man came not to be min- 
istered unto, but to minister, and to 
give his life a ransom for many." 
Matt. 20 : 28. Shall we, then, scruple 
to love Christ again, and to fight under 
his banner against his enemy, the 
world ? 



Chap. XIII.] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



37 



CHAPTER XIII. 



THE CHRISTIAN OUGHT WILLINGLY TO DIE UNTO HIMSELF AND THE WORLD, FOR 
THE SAKE OF THE LOVE OF CHRIST, AND FOR THE SAKE OF THAT FUTURE 
AND ETERNAL GLORY, FOR WHICH WE WERE CREATED AND REDEEMED. 

Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he 
became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. — 2 Cor. 8 : 9. 



THOU art required, O man! to die 
to thyself, thy sin, and the world; 
and to lead a holy, harmless life, ac- 
cording to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
This thou art to do, not with a view 
to merit anything at the hands of 
God, but from a principle of love to 
him, who performed and merited all 
for thee, and died to save thee. 

2. Be not deceived: Jesus must be 
loved by thee, not in word and in 
tongue, but in deed and in truth. " If," 
says he (John 14:23), "a man lovC 
me, he will keep my words ; " and so 
St. John speaks: " This is the love 
of God, that we keep his command- 
ments : and his commandments are not 
grievous." 1 John 5 : 3. And, again, 
the Saviour says : " My yoke is easy, 
and my burden is light." Matt. 11 : 30. 
To him, indeed, who loves Christ with 
all his heart, it cannot but be easy to 
sacrifice the pleasure which earthly 
vanities afford, and to do that which 
is good, without constraint. Love ren- 
ders every burden light that is laid 
upon us by Jesus; whereas to him 
that is devoid of this heavenly prin- 
ciple, every act which duty requires 
is grievous and oppressive. To such 
a one, every religious exercise is pain- 
ful and laborious; whereas the man 
who sincerely loves the Lord Jesus 
Christ, esteems death itself to be in 
nowise terrible, when submitted to for 
his sake. And, therefore, the Apostle 



says: "Unto you it is given, in the 
the behalf of Christ, not only to be- 
lieve on him, but also to suffer for his 
sake" (Phil. 1 : 29); nay, to lay down 
life itself, whenever that sacrifice is 
required of us. 

3. In order to confirm thy faith, 
consider the example of Moses, who, 
" by faith, when he was come to years, 
refused to be called the son of Pha- 
raoh's daughter; choosing rather to 
suffer affliction with the people of God, 
than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for 
a season; esteeming the reproach of 
Christ greater riches than the treas- 
ures in Egypt." Heb. 11 : 24-26. 

4. Consider Daniel, who refused the 
luxuries of a court, and desired to be 
fed with pulse and water, resolving 
" that he would not defile himself 
with the portion of the king's meat, 
nor with the wine which he drank." 
Dan. 1 : 8, 12. He contemned the 
pleasures of Babylon, that he might 
attain "the wisdom that is from 
above " (James 3 : 17) y which dwells 
only in a heart preserved pure from 
the pollutions of an unholy world. 
So, if thou desirest that Christ, the 
eternal Wisdom, should enter into thy 
soul, thou must abhor the pleasures of 
sin. For as Daniel and his compan- 
ions were made fairer by their sobri- 
ety and abstemious life, so be thou 
firmly assured, that thy soul will ap- 
pear more beautiful and fair in the 



38 



TEÜE CHKISTIAN1TY. 



[Book I. 



sight of God, even as "partaking of 
the divine nature," if thou escape 
" the corruption that is in the world 
through lust." 2 Pet. 1 : 4. 

5. Consider, further, the example of 
St. Paul, who says, "The world is cru- 
cified unto me, and I unto the world" 
(Gal. 6 : 14); that is, I am dead to the 
world, and the world is dead to me. 
Thus are all true Christians in the 
world, yet not of it. Though they 
live in it, they do not love it; for 
they view it as a transient shadow; 
and its pomps, dignities, and lusts, as 
vanity and deceit, vexation and dis- 
appointment. Hence, they are cruci- 
fied to the world, though they remain 
in it; and the world is crucified to 
them; that is, they desire no mere 
worldly honor, wealth or joy. 

6. How happy is the man who is 
dead to earthly vanities, and alive to 
God; separated from the world, and 
drawn into Christ! How blessed is 
he into whose heart divine grace is so 
infused, as wholly to wean it from in- 
ferior objects, and exalt it to the fru- 
ition of the light and glory of heaven. 
Such a state is the effect of daily prayer 
and supplication, without which a true 
Christian cannot possibly exist. 

7. Agur prayed to the Lord thus : 
" Two things, have I required of thee; 
deny me them not before I die. Give 
me neither poverty nor riches; feed 
me with food convenient for me." 
Prov. 30 : 7, 8. So let the Christian 
pray : " Two things I desire of thee, 
O Lord, even these two : that I may 
die to myself, and to the world." 
For without this death, it is utterly 
impossible to be a true Christian. 
If thou, O Man ! thinkest otherwise, 
thou certainly deceivest thyself, and 
shalt at last hear from the mouth of 
Christ that awful sentence, "I know 
you not." Matt. 7:23; 25: 12. 



8. Though to die thus to self and 
to the world, is, to flesh and blood, a 
grievous cross, yet will the spirit and 
the love of Christ eventually triumph 
over every difficulty. So powerful 
indeed are these aids, that they ena- 
ble the true Christian to bear all 
things for the sake of the Beloved, as 
a pleasant yoke and easy burden. 
And although he who lives a life thus 
mortified, will be hated by the world, 
yet shall he be loved of God ; for the 
enmity of the world is friendship with 
him (James 4 : 4). And the Lord hath 
himself declared, " If ye were of the 
world, the world would love his own ; 
but because ye are not of the world, 
but I have chosen you out of the 
world, therefore the world hateth 
you." John 15 : 19. 

9. Those who are dead to the world 
for the testimony of Jesus, it casts 
out ; but it honors and applauds them 
who, living in the enjoyment of its 
pomp and splendor, are its genuine 
offspring; because they live in the 
world, and the world liveth in them. 

10. In short, that man is not re- 
ceived and commended by the world, 
but is, on the contrary, cast out of it, 
in whose heart, pride, covetousness, 
lust, wrath, revenge, and the other 
corrupt passions of nature, are morti- 
fied and restrained. Unto him the 
world is dead; and he again is dead 
to the world : he begins to live in 
Christ, and Christ lives in him : and 
he will be confessed by the Saviour, 
as one of his peculiar people, in whom 
the great design of redemption has 
been effected. To others, on the con- 
trary, it will be said, " I know you 
not, as ye, in like manner, knew me 
not." You have not confessed me be- 
fore men, but have been ashamed of 
my life, my meekness, humility, and 
patience ; and I will not confess you : 



Chap. XIII.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



39 



you have despised the shame of my 
cross; and you shall be with shame 
disowned by me. Mark 8:38. For 
whoever refuses to live with Christ 
in time, cannot expect to live with 
him in eternity: whoever has not the 
life of Christ here, shall never have it 
set forth in him hereafter : and who- 
ever disdains to follow Jesus in the 
present world, shall never be glorified 
with him in the world to come. 

11. Therefore, O Man! strictly 
scrutinize thy life, and see whether 
thou bearest a greater conformity to 
the life of Christ, or to the life of the 
devil : for thou must inevitably be 
united to one or other of these 
throughout all eternity. 

12. If thou art dead to thyself and 
to thy depraved desires within thee, 
thou wilt find it no hard task to die 
to the world and its vain allurements 
which are without thee : and whoever 
is thus dead to the world, will not 
love it or the things which it con- 
tains ; for, " if any man love the world, 
the love of the Father is not in him." 
1 John 2 : 15. Again, how shall his 
desires any more go out after the 
world without him, when he is dead 
to it ? Great indeed would be the 
loss sustained by a lover of the 
blessed God, were he, in any degree, 
to yield to the allurements of the 
world, and allow it to obtain a share 
in that affection which should be 
fixed solely on the Supreme Good. 
A soul so undecided would soon be 
entirely vanquished by the blandish- 
ments of sin, as was Samson by the 
charms of Delilah (Judg. 16 : 6) ; and 
would become subject to all that 
misery and vexation of heart, which 
invariably attend the love of this 
world. 

13. The love of the world apper- 
tains not to the new creature, but to 



the old: for the world has nothing 
to bestow but honor and vainglory, 
riches, pleasures, and carnal desires; 
in these the "old man" delights. The 
new man, on the other hand, has no 
peace except in Christ, who is his 
honor and glory, his riches and his 
heaven. 

14. And as nothing can be con- 
ceived of that is greater or more ex- 
alted than the image of God renewed 
in Christ Jesus, so it should be our 
only concern and care, to render our- 
selves partakers of this exalted honor; 
remembering the words of Tauler, 
"What man, who is possessed of 
reason, can doubt for a moment, that 
God can infinitely more rejoice and 
delight the heart, than the corrupt 
and indigent creature is capable of 
doing?" 

15. In addition to this, the Scrip- 
tures assure us that man was not cre- 
ated for the world's sake, but the 
world for man's. It was not to pam- 
per his appetite, to heap up riches, or 
to extend his empire without limits, 
that man was formed; it was not that 
he might acquire large estates and 
possessions, erect palaces, or be gor- 
geously attired, that he was endued 
with a soul intelligent and immortal : 
man was made to be lord of the earth, 
and not its slave; to subdue, and not 
to be subdued. He was not to seek: 
his pleasure and enjoyment on earth, 
however fair and fascinating it might 
be to a depraved taste: he was not 
destined to be an heir of this inferior 
world, nor the possessor of terrestrial 
treasures, nor to be actuated by any 
worldly motive whatsoever. Man is. 
to depart hence, as one that dwells on 
earth as a tenant at will. He was not 
made for it, and cannot remain in it;; 
he entered it naked, and naked he 
must quit it again. Many, indeed, are 






40 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



born into the world at the same time; 
but an equal number, on the other 
hand, are daily taken out by death; 
nor can any carry with them even an 
atom of the treasures which they had 
accumulated upon earth. 

16. Man, then, is but a guest and a 
pilgrim below; and most obvious it is, 
that he was not created for this tem- 
poral life, and that this world was 
never designed to be the end of his 
being. That end is God, and the 
image of God in Christ Jesus, unto 
which we are renewed by the Spirit; 
and we are created for the kingdom 
of God and for eternal life. These our 
blessed Redeemer purchased for us, 
when they had been forfeited by us; 
and it is his Spirit that regenerates 
men who had been without God in 
the world. 

17. How unreasonable, therefore, is 
it in man to fix his affections on tem- 
poral objects, when we are assured 
that the soul is infinitely more noble 
and more precious than the whole 
world! How preposterous is it, that 
he should lavish his time in the pur- 
suit of earthly things, when he is 
conscious that he was created to bear 
the image of God in Christ, through 
the Holy Spirit! Therefore, let us 
now solemnly repeat what has been 
before affirmed, namely, that man was 
not made for the world, but the world 
for man. The excellency of the image 
of God in Christ Jesus, is inconceiva- 



bly great and glorious: so that were 
all mankind to unite their labor and 
might, their wealth, their honors, and 
their all, they could not succeed in re- 
storing even one soul to the possession 
of this image. It became requisite 
that Christ himself should die, in 
order that this divine image which 
had been utterly defaced by sin, 
might, through His Spirit, be revived ; 
and that man might again become the 
temple and house of God through all 
eternity. 

18. This being duly considered, as 
certainly it ought to be, how is it that 
man so thoroughly debases his soul as 
to seek after the things of this world, 
its honors, its pleasures, lusts, and 
wealth? He should surely reason with 



himself, and 



say 



Shall I, for the 



sake of a little gold, or for this fading 
world, or for all the honors and pleas- 
ures it can afford me, — shall I, for 
the sake of these, sacrifice my immortal 
soul, which Christ has redeemed at so 
infinite a price? God forbid." "What 
is a man profited, if he shall gain the 
whole world, and lose his own soul? 
or what shall a man give in exchange 
for his soul ?" Matt. 16 : 26. Alas! the 
" whole world," with all its power and 
glory, could not avail to rescue one 
soul from eternal destruction ; for the 
soul is immortal, while the world 
passeth away with all that it con- 
tains. 1 Cor. 7 : 31 ; 1 John 2 : 17. 



Chap. XIV.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



41 



CHAPTER XIV. 



THE TRUE CHRISTIAN. WHO IMITATES CHRIST, HATES HIS OWN LIFE IN THIS 
WORLD, AND FORSAKES THE WORLD. 

If any man come to me, and hate not .... his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. — Luke 
14 : 26. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall 
keep it unto life eternal. — John 12 : 25. 



IN order that a man may hate him- 
self, he must, in the first place, 
cease to love himself; secondly, he 
must daily die to sin; and, thirdly, 
maintain a continual warfare with his 
corrupt nature, or the flesh. 

2. There is nothing that more ob- 
structs the everlasting salvation of 
mankind than self-love. This is not to 
be understood of that natural love 
which excites to a due regard to self- 
preservation, but of that carnal and 
inordinate affection which influences 
man to be wholly concerned about 
himself, without any reference to the 
Supreme Being, the great Author of 
life. In this sense the term is used in 
the present Book. Man was created 
to love God alone; and since God only 
is to be loved, it follows that he who 
loves himself is an idolater, and makes 
of himself a god. The heart of man 
rejoices and rests in the object of his 
affection ; and, whatever this be, he is 
brought by it into bondage, and is de- 
voted to it. Man, in this state, is be- 
come a servant, and is deprived of that 
genuine liberty in the enjoyment of 
which he was originally created; and 
in this lapsed and divided state he 
must serve as many masters as there 
are objects upon which his affections 
are placed. But if thy love, O man ! 
be sincerely and simply fixed on God, 
then thou art subject to no lord but 
Him ; and thou preservest thy liberty 



with all the privileges appertaining to 
it. It becometh thee, therefore, to be 
very circumspect in thy life and con- 
duct, lest thou shouldst in any degree 
obstruct the progress of divine love in 
thy soul. If ever thou desirest to pos- 
sess God alone, thou must make a sur- 
render of thyself solely to him. If 
thou lovest and pleasest thyself, in- 
stead of loving and pleasing God, then 
sorrow and fear, sadness and anxiety, 
will inevitably attend thee; whereas, 
if thou wholly yieldest thyself unto 
God, cleaving to him and delighting 
thyself in him alone, then he will 
never leave thee nor forsake thee, but 
remove by his gracious presence all 
fear and anxiety from thy mind. He, 
on the other hand, who seeks himself 
in all situations and in every circum- 
stance, and who incessantly pursues 
after profit, praise, and lust, can never 
attain to serenity and peace of mind ; 
for some circumstance there always 
w T ill be to cross his desires and to dis- 
turb his rest. Never, therefore, yield 
to the belief that an accession of fame, 
wealth, or honor in this world, is al- 
ways good and profitable for thee; 
when, on the contrary, a righteous 
contempt of all such transient objects, 
nay, an utter extirpation of our love 
of them, would be attended with an 
infinite blessing and advantage. 

3. As then, on the one hand, the 
things of this life, such as praise, 



42 



TEXTE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book 1. 



riches, and pleasure, are frail, and 
pass away with the world that sup- 
plies them, while, on the other, the 
love of God endureth forever, it is 
\ evident that no satisfaction can be 
durable that is founded upon the love 
of self and of earthly objects. Such 
peace would be interrupted by every 
trivial circumstance that occurred ; 
whereas, when the mind is firmly set 
upon God and upon his love, it cannot 
fail to be preserved in perfect peace 
and perpetual serenity amid all the 
changes of this life. Forsake thou, 
therefore, all things, and thou shalt, 
by faith, recover all things again; for 
never can the lover of himself and of 
the world nod the blessed God. 

4. Inordinate self-love is begotten 
of the world, and not of God ; it is 
earthly, and the chief enemy to "the 
wisdom which is from above." James 
3 : 17. This wisdom does not seek the 
praise and applause of men; and 
though in itself " a pearl of great 
price" (Matt. 13:46), yet appearing 
with no other recommendation than 
its own native simplicity, it is but 
little valued in the world, and, with 
but few exceptions, is entirely ne- 
glected and forgotten ; and though 
there are many who make a boast of 
this wisdom, yet the gem conceals it- 
self from all who do not desire to ap- 
ply it in their practice. If, therefore, 
thou desirest to be possessed of it, O 
man ! lay aside all that human wisdom 
which "puffeth up" (1 Cor. 8 : 1), to- 
gether with thy self-love and self-ap- 
plause, and then shalt thou exchange 
thy earthly wisdom, which the world 
admires, for that which is heavenly 
and divine. Then, instead of the wis- 
dom of this world, which in its nature 
is elevated and seeks the applause of 
men, thou shalt be put in possession 
of a wisdom which, far from attract- 



ing the notice of the world, is despised 
and rejected by it, but which is, never- 
theless, of a divine origin, and of ever- 
lasting continuance. 

5. It is impossible to love God, until 
thou abhorrest thyself; that is, until 
thou art heartily displeased with thy- 
self and with thy sins; until thy own 
carnal nature is crucified, together 
with the evil propensities of thy self- 
will. For the more a man strives to 
love God, the more he labors to subdue 
the lusts of the flesh and his sensual 
appetites; and the more he departs 
from self and from self-love, by the 
power of the Spirit of God, the more 
nearly he approaches, by faith, unto 
God, and to his divine love. For as 
inward peace depends on a freedom 
from desires after the things of this 
world; so when this peace is once set- 
tled in the soul, and the heart has dis- 
engaged itself from the ties which 
bound it to the creature, it returns 
freely into God, and rests in him 
alone. 

6. Now he who is sincerely disposed 
to deny himself, must follow, not his 
own will, but the will of Christ, who 
has declared, " I am the way, and the 
truth, and the life." John 14:6.' As 
though he had said: "Without the 
way, no man walketh ; without the 
truth, nothing is known ; and without 
life, no man liveth : therefore, look 
upon me, who am the way in which it 
is thy duty to walk, the truth in which 
thou art called to believe, and the life 
in which thou art bound to live. I 
am the unerring way, the infallible 
truth, and the everlasting life : the 
way to immortality is through my 
merit; the truth itself is in my word; 
and life is through the efficacy of my 
death ; and, therefore, if thou con- 
tinuest in the way, the truth will guide 
thee unto eternal life. If thou desirest 



Ciiap. XIV.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



43 



not to go astray, follow me j if thou 
wilt know the truth, believe in me; 
and if thou wouldst possess life ever- 
lasting, put thy whole trust in me, 
'who for thy sake have endured the 
death of the cross." 

7. What, indeed, is the safe way, the 
infallible truth, and the endless life? 
What, the way, truth, and life, that 
are more excellent than every other ? 
Surely there is no way, but the holy 
and precious merits of Christ ; no truth, 
but his eternal word; no life, but a 
blissful immortality in heaven. If, 
therefore, O Christian! thou desirest 
to be raised up into heaven with Christ 
Jesus, believe in him here, and tread 
in the footsteps of his humility; this 
is the safe Way to everlasting glory. 
If thou wouldst escape the snares of 
the world, take hold of his Word by 
faith, and follow the example which 
he has left for thy imitation; because 
this is the infallible Truth. And if it 
be thy wish to live with Christ, then 
die thou with him and in him unto sin, 
and become a new creature; for this is 
Life. Thus Christ is the way, the 
truth, and the life ; and he is so, both 
by his example and by his merit. 

8. " Be ye followers of God as dear 
children." Eph. 5 : 1. Let us labor and 
strive after this one thing; that our 
lives may resemble the life of Christ. 
Were there nothing else to confound 
the false Christian, the example of 
Christ might effectually and abund- 
antly do it. When we consider that 
Christ our Lord passed his life in grief 
and pain, we ought to be ashamed to 
spend our lives in ease and pleasures. 
If the soldier forgets his own ease and 
comfort when he beholds his captain 
fighting unto death, shalt thou pursue 
after worldly pleasures and honors, 
when thy Prince was so ignominiously 
treated, and, for thy sake, nailed to 



the cross ? Is it not a sign that then 
thou dost not, in fact, fight under his 
banner? 

9. It is true that, in our day, every 
one desires to be considered a Chris- 
tian; but how few are they who imi- 
tate the life and deportment of Christ ! 
Had it been the character of a fol- 
lower of Christ, to aim at the acqui- 
sition of honors and possessions, our 
Lord would never have taught that 
these are not worthy to be compared 
with heavenly treasures. Contemplate 
the life and doctrine of the blessed 
Jesus, and thou shalt own that no- 
thing can be more opposed than he 
and the world. Behold that manger 
and that stable! do they not forci- 
bly evidence a contempt of worldly 
things? And will the example of 
Christ lead thee to err from the right 
way? No! he is the way, and he is 
the truth; and his life, compared with 
his doctrine, is the only means to pre- 
serve thee from mistake, and to guard 
thee from the delusions and errors of 
the world. Since then the Lord hath 
chosen to enter into his glory by the 
way of suffering and reproach, why 
shouldst thou labor to make thy way 
to hell, through the pomps and vani- 
ties of the world? Return, then, O 
deluded soul! escape from the broad 
way that leadeth unto death, and in 
which thy only enjoyment is " the 
pleasures of sin for a season" (Heb. 
11 : 25); enter into this safe Way, in 
which the wayfaring man shall not 
stray: cordially embrace that Truth 
which never can deceive : and live in 
Him who is Life itself. This way is 
the truth, and this truth is the way. 
Awful blindness! a worm of the earth 
would make himself great in the 
world, when the Lord of glory abased 
himself to the very dust. O faithful 
soul! when thy bridegroom moves to 



44 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



meet thee, clothed with humility, come 
down from the elevation of thy pride 
and ambition, and descend into the 
vale of humiliation to meet him, and 
he will embrace and receive thee with 

joy- 

10. As Abraham quitted his father's 
house, to go into a land which the 
Lord was to show him (Gen. 12 : 1), 
so quit thou, as a true child of Abra- 
ham, the pleasure-house of self-will 
and self-love, that thou mayest obtain 
the divine blessing. Self-love biases 
the judgment, blinds the understand- 
ing, disturbs the reason, seduces the 
will, corrupts the conscience, closes 
the gates of life, and acknowledges 
neither God nor neighbor. It ban- 
ishes virtue ; seeks after honors, 
riches, and pleasures ; and, in a word, 
prefers earth to heaven. He, there- 
fore, who thus "loveth his life, shall 
lose it; but he that hateth his life" 
(that is, resists this principle of self- 
love), "shall keep it unto life eternal." 
John 12 : 25. Self-love is the root of 
impenitence, and the cause of damna- 
tion. They who are controlled by 
self-love and self-honor are destitute 
of humility and a knowledge of sin; 
consequently, they never can obtain 
the remission of sin, though they seek 
it with tears; their tears not being 
shed because they have offended God, 
but merely on account of the personal 
loss which they have sustained. 

11. The kingdom of heaven is com- 
pared in Scripture to " a pearl of great 
price;" in order to obtain which, a 
man sold all that he had. Matt. 13 : 45, 
46. This pearl is God himself, and that 
eternal life which he has promised, 
and for the attainment of which every 
other object must be forsaken. We 
have an example of this in our Lord 
Jesus Christ, who descended from 
heaven not for his own sake, but for 



thy sake ; not for his own profit and 
advantage, but for thine. Luke 19 : 10. 
And wilt thou yet delay to love him 
who gave himself up unto death for 
thee ? 

12. It doubtless is the part of a 
faithful spouse, to please her husband 
alone : and art thou desirous of pleas- 
ing the world, when thou mayest be 
espoused unto Christ, the great lover 
of souls ? Forsake therefore and sin- 
cerely despise all that is in the world, 
in order that thou mayest become 
worthy of the eminent dignity of this 
spiritual marriage : for if thy love 
cleave not solely to Christ, it is a cor- 
rupt and adulterous love, and not that 
which a Christian should bear to the 
Eedeemer. For the Christian's love 
to the Eedeemer must possess virgin 
purity. 

13. The law of Moses required that 
the' priest should marry a virgin 
(Levit. 21 : 13, 14) ; and Christ, our 
High Priest, will espouse only a vir- 
gin-soul ; one that is attached to no- 
thing that the world can offer, but 
solely to himself; nay, one that loves 
not even herself, in comparison with 
Christ. " If any man come to me," 
he says, " and hate not his own life, he 
cannot be my disciple." Luke 14 : 26. 

14. In order to understand what is 
meant by hating ourselves, we are to 
remember that we carry about with 
us " the old man," and are indeed the 
old man himself; whose nature is to 
hasten from one sin to another, to 
love himself, to pursue his own profit 
and honor, and to indulge his own 
will and carnal appetite. For the 
flesh is at all times the same ; always 
considering itself, easily grieved, envi- 
ous, bitter, covetous, and revengeful. 
This, O Man ! is what thou doest : 
these sinful motions proceed from thy 
heart ; this is thy very life, even the 



Chap. XV.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



45 



life of the old man in thee : and there- 
fore thou must of necessity hate thy- 
self, and thine own natural life, if ever 
thou desirest to be a disciple of Christ. 
Whoever loves himself, must love his 
own pride and avarice, his own wrath 
and hatred, envy and lying, perfidi- 
ousness and unrighteousness ; and, in 



short, he must love all the progeny 
of unholy desires, and a corrupt heart. 
But if thou desirest to be a Christian 
indeed, thou must not love, nor ex- 
cuse, nor palliate thy sins, but thou 
must hate them, forsake them, and 
subdue them. 



CHAPTER XV. 



SHOWING HOW THE " OLD MAN " DAILY DIES, AND THE "NEW MAN" IS DAILY 
RENEWED, IN A TRUE CHRISTIAN J ALSO, WHEREIN SELF-DENIAL CONSISTS, AND 
WHAT IS MEANT BY THE CHRISTIAN'S CROSS. 



If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, 
and follow me. — Luke 9 : 23. 



IT is the charge of the apostle Paul, 
" Put off the old man, which is 
corrupt according to the deceitful 
lusts ; and be renewed in the spirit of 
your mind ; and put on the new man, 
which after God is created in right- 
eousness and true holiness." Eph. 4 : 
22-24. And in another of his Epistles, 
he gives us a reason for doing so.: 
" Ye are not your own ; for ye are 
bought with a price ; therefore, glorify 
God in your body and in your spirit, 
which are God's." 1 Cor. 6 : 19, 20. 

2. "We have already noticed what is 
meant by the old man; namely, pride, 
covetousness, lasciviousness, unright- 
eousness, wrath, enmity, hatred, 'etc. ; 
all of which must die in the Christian, 
if ever the new man arise in him again, 
and is day by day renewed. 

3. In proportion as the old man 
dies, the new man is quickened. As 
pride loses its influence, humility, by 
the grace of God the Holy Spirit, suc- 
ceeds ; as wrath yields, meekness ad- 
vances j as covetousness is done away, 



trust in God is increased ; and as the 
love of the world is removed, the love 
of God takes its place in the soul, and 
becomes more and more vigorous and 
ardent. In this consists the renova- 
tion of the new man. This is the 
fruit of the Spirit; this is practical 
and living faith (Gal. 5 : 22) ; this is 
Christ in us; this is the new command 
of Christ and new obedience; this is 
the result of the new birth in us, in 
which thou must live if thou desirest 
to be a child of God; for those only 
who so live have a right to be so 
called. 

4. This is the reason why a man 
ought now to deny himself; to re- 
nounce his own honor and will, his 
own love and pleasure, and all his 
profit and interest in the world ; and 
why he ought freely to give up his 
own right and life, and consider him- 
self unworthy of everything that Prov- 
idence bestows upon him. A real Chris- 
tian, who is endued with the humility 
of Christ, readily owns that no man 



46 



TKUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



can lay claim to even the least of those 
benefits that descend from above, be- 
cause they are all gifts, and freely pro- 
ceed from the goodness of God. On 
this account he uses all as being really 
the property of God, with fear and 
trembling ; not to promote his own 
pleasure and satisfaction, his own 
profit and praise, but from necessity 
alone, and because he cannot other- 
wise subsist. 

5. Let a true Christian who denies 
himself, and a false Christian who is 
filled with inordinate self-love, be com- 
pared together. If an affront be of- 
fered to the latter, you may soon be- 
hold his anger rising, and visible marks 
of passion and discontent ; and these 
are, not unfrequently, followed up by 
reproachful language and actions, by 
a spirit of revenge, and sometimes by 
imprecations and curses. All this pro- 
ceeds from the old man, whose proper 
character it is to be angry and bitter, 
and to exhibit rancor and asperity. 
On the contrary, he that is a Chris- 
tian indeed, and has sincerely begun 
to practice self-denial, is gentle, pa- 
tient, and ready to forgive ; free from 
a revengeful spirit ; full of compassion 
and tenderness; and esteems himself 
worthy of all the sufferings which 
Providence may be pleased to allot to 
him. These qualities are all included 
in self-denial. 

6. In the exercise of this patience, 
meekness, and lowliness of mind, our 
Lord Jesus Christ has set us an ex- 
ample by willingly denying himself. 
"The Son of man," he says, "came 
not to be ministered unto, but to min- 
ister" (Matt. 20:28); and again, "I 
am among you as he that serveth" 
(Luke 22 : 27); and in another place, 
"The Son of man hath not where to 
lay his head." Luke 9 : 58. David, 
when reviled by Shimei, practised the 



duty of self-denial, for his words were : 
" The Lord hath said unto him, Curse 
David." 2 Sam. 16 : 10. As if he had 
said : " I am a worm in the sight of 
God, and deserve to suffer far worse 
things." And thus have all the saints 
and prophets of God freely denied 
their own will, and esteemed them- 
selves unworthy of every blessing. 
They bore the burden of their day 
with patience (Acts 5 : 40, 41) ; they 
cursed not when they were cursed; 
they blessed their persecutors, and 
prayed for them by whom they were 
slaughtered (Acts 7 : 60) ; and thus, 
" through much tribulation, entered 
into the kingdom of God." Acts 14 : 22. 

7. This was true when they acknowl- 
edged themselves unworthy of any 
favor, but worthy of all the evils that 
could befall them. 

8. Now, this self-denial is the cross 
of Christ, which he has encouraged us 
to bear, saying : " If any man will 
come after me, let him deny himself 
and take up his cross daily, and follow 
me." Luke 9 : 23. This self-denying 
life is a severe cross to the flesh ; the 
natural man desires a life free from 
restraint and contradiction, and would 
follow the inclination of his own will, 
and seek after his own ease and pleas- 
ure, rather than the humility, patience, 
and meekness of Christ, with the other 
graces of his life and example. 

9. But whatever opposition the old 
man may raise for a time, he has re- 
ceived the sentence of death, and if 
thy soul be ever saved, he must surely 
die. For never canst thou be clothed 
with the humility of Christ unless thy 
natural pride be first subdued; nor 
canst thou feel a love of his poverty 
unless thy avarice and thy love of 
the world be first overcome. Thou 
wilt not be able to follow Christ in 
the contempt of vainglory, nor to en- 



Chap. XV.] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



47 



dure the reproach of his cross, until 
thine ambition be rooted out; nor wilt 
thou ever express in thy life the meek- 
ness and patience of Jesus until thy re- 
vengeful spirit be inwardly mortified. 

10. These are the spiritual exercises 
which the Scriptures mean when they 
speak of denying ourselves, of bearing the 
cross of Christ, and of following him, — 
exercises that are submitted to, not 
with any expectation of profit, merit, 
reward, interest, or praise, but from 
pure love to the Saviour, and because 
Christ hath passed through all this 
before us, and "hath left us an exam- 
ple that we should follow his steps." 
Since the image of God is the greatest 
dignity of man, we ought the more 
earnestly to practise the duty of self- 
denial, by which that image, effaced 
by sin, is revived within us. And as 
this is the highest honor of which our 
nature is susceptible, so is it the strong- 
est inducement that can possibly be 
suggested to endear to us the practice 
of self-denial. 

11. Why, then, should man so eagerly 
desire the fading honors of this world, 
which, however they may raise him in 
the estimation of his fellow-mortals, 
render him in no degree more accept- 
able in the sight of God. The great 
and the wise have bodies composed of 
flesh and blood as the meanest and the 
most despised; so that, in this respect, 
no man has the slightest superiority 
over another. One is born even as the 
other, and dies even as the other; for 
the beginning and end of all men, as 
to this world, is alike. What folly 
then is it to covet worldly honors and 
the praise of men ! Such desires spring 
from the root of self-love, that bane 
of the soul, that seed of all spiritual 
diseases, by which the heart of man is 



turned from God to the world, and 
from Christ to self. How incapable 
and how backward is the lover of 
himself to obey the words of the 
blessed Eedeemer, and to lose his life 
for His sake that he may save it. This 
is a paradox hostile to the inclinations 
of the "old nature," and therefore but 
little considered by the bulk of man- 
kind. 

12. Alas! how small is the number 
of those who have a thorough knowl- 
edge of the depraved life of the old 
Adam, or who heartily strive against 
it ! And yet, if ever we would rescue 
our souls from perdition, we must die 
to it and to all its restless workings. 
Whatever corruptions have been en- 
tailed on us by Adam, must be re- 
moved in Christ. In his humility, our 
pride and ambition must expire; in 
beholding his poverty, our thirst after 
earthly things must die away. The 
contemplation of his bitter sufferings 
should subdue our sensual lusts; the 
reproaches which he endured, and the 
entire resignation with which he sub- 
mitted to the contempt of the world, 
should restrain us from the pursuit of 
worldly honors, and from the indulg- 
ence of anger and passion. 

13. He who is thus dead to himself, 
will also readily die to the world, its 
pomps, and wealth, and honors, and 
pleasures, solacing himself with those 
higher riches, dignities, and enjoy- 
ments, to which he is admitted by 
faith in Christ. He becomes, indeed, 
" a stranger upon the earth " (Ps. 
39 : 12), but he is the friend of Christ, 
and Christ will comfort his heart with 
the light of his countenance here, and 
with joy everlasting and unutterable 
in the world to come. 



48 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



A CONFLICT IS CONSTANTLY MAINTAINED IN THE CHRISTIAN BETWEEN THE SPIRIT 

AND THE FLESH. 

i" see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind. — Eom. 7 : 23. 



THE two opposite principles in the 
heart of the real Christian, are 
spoken of by the apostle. under differ- 
ent names, viz. : the inward and out- 
ward man (2 Cor. 4 : 16), the law of 
the mind and the law of the members 
(Eom. 7 : 23), and the flesh and spirit. 
"The flesh," says he,,"lusteth against 
the Spirit, and the Spirit against the 
flesh." Gal. 5:17. 

2. When the Spirit conquers the 
flesh, then man lives in the new na- 
ture, and is in God and in Christ: but 
when the flesh vanquishes the Spirit, 
and thus gains the ascendency, then 
man lives in the devü and in the old 
nature; he is under the dominion of 
the world, and without the kingdom 
of God, and, consequently, is called 
carnal. And " to be carnally minded 
is death." Eom. 8 : 6. 

3. It is according to the predomi- 
nance of either of these principles 
(the flesh and the Spirit), that a man 
obtains his name in Scripture, and is 
called carnal or spiritual. When the 
flesh and its sensual lusts are subdued, 
it is an indication of the strength of 
the spirit, and of a man's proficiency 
in the inward life; but if a man be j 
vanquished by the flesh, it betrays 
the weakness both of his faith and 
spirit. 

4. Solomon says, "He that ruleth 
his spirit (his mind), is better than he j 
that taketh a city." Prov. 16 : 32. If, 
then, thou desirest to be a valiant con- 
queror, and to gain an immortal vic- 



tory, conquer thyself; subdue thy pas- 
sions, mortify thy pride, quell thine 
ambition, and destroy every inordi- 
nate lust with which thou art assailed ; 
and thus shalt thou overthrow the king- 
dorn of Satan, who, by means of such 
sins, ruleth in the world. Many have 
signalized themselves by the capture 
of towns and cities; but, alas! how 
few are they who, in a higher sense, 
may be denominated conquerors of the 
world / 

5. If thou yieldest too far to the 
flesh, thou destroyest thy soul. It is 
surely better that the soul overcome, 
and that the body also be preserved, 
than that, the body overcoming, both 
body and soul should be destroyed 
together. 

6. This contest, though attended 
with various trials and difficulties, will, 
however, issue in a glorious victory 
and a heavenly crown : " Be thou faith- 
ful unto death," saith the Captain of 
our salvation, " and I will give thee a 
crown of life." Eev. 2 : 10. And the 
disciple that lay in his bosom tells us, 
" This is the victory that overcometh 
the world, even our faith." 1 John 5 : 4. 
Thou wilt say, What is it to overcome 
the world? We answer, It is the world 
within us, which is here principally 
meant. Overcome thy self, and then 
the victory over the world is thine. 

7. Some may, perhaps, be here ready 
to inquire, " What, if sin sometimes 
closely beset me, and bear me away 
against my will; must I be excluded 



Chap. XVI.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



49 



from the number of God's children, 
according to that saying of St. John, 
'He that committeth sin is of the 
devil'?" 1 John 3: 8. To this it must 
be replied: If thou feelest the con- 
flict of the Spirit against the flesh, 
and art grieved that thou sometimes 
doest things which thou wouldst not, 
it is an evidence that, amidst the in- 
firmities which encompass thee, thy 
faith and thy spirit struggle against 
the flesh, and are opposed to it. St. 
Paul himself teaches us that this war- 
fare has place even in godly and be- 
lieving souls, when he says, " I see an- 
other law in my members warring 
against the law of my mind (that is, 
against the new, inward man), and 
bringing me into captivity to the law 
of sin which is in my members " (Eom. 
7 : 23); thus causing him sometimes to 
do the things which he would not. To 
will, was present with him; but to 
perform the good which he would, he 
was not always able; inasmuch as he 
could not do of himself the good which 
he would, while to do the evil which 
he would not, was always easy to him. 
Hence he exclaims, " O wretched man 
that I am ! who shall deliver me from 
the body of this death ? " Kom. 7 : 24. 
And to this agrees what Christ him- 
self says : "The spirit indeed is willing, 
but the flesh is weak." Matt. 26:41; 
Mark 14:38. 

8. As long, therefore, as this conflict 
is felt in man, sin cannot be said to 
rule in him; for he who is continually 
fighting against sin, resists its strug- 
gles for dominion; and sin cannot de- 
stroy the man who opposes the at- 
tempts which it makes upon the soul. 

9. It is the experience of 'all the 
saints, that they alike have sin, ac- 
cording to the word of St. John : " If 
we say that we have no sin, we deceive 
ourselves." 1 John 1:8. It is not, how- 



ever, the indwelling sin that condemns 
a man, but the reigning sin. The sin 
with which we contend, and to the 
commission of which we do not con- 
sent, is not imputed to us; as St. Paul 
says : " There is therefore now no 
condemnation to them which are in 
Christ Jesus, who walk not after the 
flesh, but after the Spirit" (Eom. 8: 
1); that is, who do not permit the 
flesh to rule. But as for those who 
are altogether strangers to this spirit- 
ual strife, this combat of the flesh and 
Spirit, they are not born again, but 
are under the reigning influence of sin ; 
they remain the servants of sin and 
Satan, and are, consequently, damned; 
for " the law of the Spirit of life " hath 
not made them "free from the law of 
sin and death " (Eom. 8 : 2), so long 
as they thus suffer sin to rule over 
them, and to " reign in their mortal 
body." 

10. All this is illustrated in Josh. 
16 : 10. The remnant of the Canaan- 
ites were permitted to dwell amongst 
the children of Israel, but not to have 
dominion over them; and thus the Is- 
rael of God feel their remaining im- 
perfections, but do not allow them to< 
gain the pre-eminence. To preserve 
this pre-eminence is the duty of the 
new man in Christ, whose name is 
Israel (that is, a prince of God) (Gen. 
32 : 28); and who, as a prince, hath 
power with God, and shall at last pre- 
vail. 

11. This daily strife with the old 
man, is an encouraging evidence of 
the existence of the new man; for it 
plainly indicates that there are two» 
contending principles in him wha is 
the subject of it. The strength of the' 
spirit and the victory succeeding i% 
demonstrate the true Israelite; and 
the warfare of the spirit indicates the- 
real Christian. The land of Canaan 



50 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



cannot indeed be gained without war : 
but wlien the flesh, like the Canaanite 
of old, invades the territories of the 
spirit, it then becomes the part of the 
spiritual and true Israel not to submit 
to such a master; but, after true re- 
pentance and remission of sin, to col- 
lect new strength in Christ, and by 
the grace of God to rise again from 
his fall, and earnestly implore Jesus, 
our true Joshua, to vanquish for him 
and in him, the spiritual Canaanite, 
the enemy of his soul. When this is 
accomplished, the sinner is not only 
forgiven and restored to favor, but he 
is likewise refreshed and strengthened 
in Christ, his great Captain in this 
spiritual combat. With regard, there- 
fore, to such as continue to feel many 
infirmities in the flesh, and who can- 
not do the things which they would, 



I exhort them to cleave to Jesus as 
sincere penitents, and to cover their 
blemishes with his perfect obedience. 
It is in this order, and in this order 
alone, that the imputation of Christ's 
merits becomes salutary and effect- 
ual; that is, when a man forsakes his 
sin, and by daily repentance strives 
against it; repairs his former losses, 
and guards against future tempta- 
tions. But while the sinner remains 
a stranger to brokenness of heart on 
account of transgression; while he 
continues to gratify the unholy pro- 
pensities of the flesh, nothing can be 
more absurd than for him to suppose 
that the merits of Christ are imputed 
to him; for how can the blood of 
Christ benefit him who treads it under 
foot? Heb. 10:29. 



\f 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THE INHERITANCE AND POSSESSIONS OF CHRISTIANS ARE NOT OP THIS WORLD; 
THEY SHOULD, THEREFORE, REGARD THEMSELVES AS STRANGERS IN IT, WHILE 
THEY MAKE USE OF EARTHLY THINGS. 

We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we tan carry nothing out. And having 
food and raiment, let us be therewith content. — 1 Tim. 6 : 7, 8. 



THE design of the blessed God in 
creating temporal things, was 
that they might supply man's bodily 
wants ; and it is right that they should 
be used for such a purpose, and be 
received at the hands of God with 
gratitude, attended with fear and 
trembling. In regard to those things 
which are not absolutely necessary, 
whether gold and silver, food and 
raiment, etc., they are left to man in 
order to prove him; so that from the 
■manner in which he employs these 



objects, it may be discovered how he 
stands affected towards God, while 
possessed of the goods of this world : 
whether, on the one hand, he will 
still cleave to God, and in the midst 
of earthly possessions, keep his eye 
constantly fixed on those which are 
to come; or whether, withdrawing 
his love from God, he will attach him- 
self to this fleeting world, and prefer 
a fading earthly paradise, to that 
which is permanent and heavenly. 
2. Man is therefore left to his own 



Chap. XVII.] 



TKUE CHBISTIANITY. 



51 



liberty and choice, in order that he 
may be judged hereafter according to 
that which he has chosen here, and 
thus be without excuse in that day. 
Agreeably to this principle, it was the 
solemn declaration of Moses to the 
people of Israel : " I call heaven and 
earth to record this day against you, 
that I have set before you life and 
death, blessing and cursing : therefore 
choose life, that both thou and thy 
saed may live." Deut. 30 : 19. 

3. The things of this world are then 
designed, not to fill us with earthly 
delight and pleasures, but to be tests 
and trials of our fidelity. In these 
trials the fall is very easy, when once 
we begin to withdraw from God. 
The pleasures of this world are the 
fruits of a forbidden tree; of which we 
are warned by God not to eat, lest 
our minds going out after them should 
eventually take delight in them, after 
the manner of those who know no 
other pleasures, but such as are de- 
rived from earthly objects. These 
persons, by indulging the flesh, con- 
vert meat, drink, and apparel into 
snares by which they are turned away 
from God. 

4. It certainly is the duty of every 
true Christian, to esteem himself a 
stranger and pilgrim in this world; 
and as bound to use earthly blessings, 
not as means of satiating lust or grati- 
fying wantonness, but of supplying 
his absolute wants and necessities. 
We ought not to set our affections on 
these inferior objects, but on Him 
alone who is able to satisfy them. 
To do otherwise, is to expose our- 
selves to dangerous temptations, and 
with Eve, to eat daily of the forbid- 
den tree. The real Christian is not 
intent upon worldly concerns, or de- 
licious fare ; for his interior eye is di- 
rected to that bread which endureth 



unto eternal life. JSTor is he solicit- 
ous about fine and fashionable ap- 
parel; aspiring rather after robes of 
divine light, and the raiment of glori- 
fied bodies. In short, all things that 
please the natural man in this world, 
are, to a true Christian, only so many 
crosses and temptations, allurements 
of sin and snares of death, that con- 
tinually exercise his virtue. What- 
ever man uses without the fear of 
God, whatever he applies to the mere 
gratifying of his flesh, cannot fail to 
operate as a poison to the soul, how- 
ever pleasant and salutary it may ap- 
pear to be to the body. Yet, so far 
from laboring to know the forbidden 
tree of worldly pleasures and its vari- 
ous fruits, man gives himself up to a 
careless and thoughtless state of life, 
and yields to the lust of the flesh, not 
considering that this lust is really the 
forbidden tree. 

5. The Christian, on the other hand, 
uses all things in the fear of God, and 
as a stranger and pilgrim on the earth ; 
avoiding every kind of excess in meat, 
drink, apparel, houses, and the other 
things of this life, lest, by an impro- 
per use of them, he should offend both 
his Father in heaven, and his fellow- 
Christians upon earth. He will not so 
much as gaze on the forbidden tree, in 
order that he may hot be ensnared ; 
but with the eye of faith,, he stead- 
fastly beholds the future felicity of 
the soul, and for the sake of this 
felicity, refuses to yield to the crav- 
ings of corrupt natures What does 
it profit the body that in this world 
it swims in lusts and pleasures, when, 
after a short period, it must be de- 
voured by worms, and stripped of all 
its enjoyments ! " Naked," says Job, 
" came I out of my mother's womb, 
and naked shall I return thither." 
Job 1:21. We bring into the world 



52 



TßUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



a naked and infirm, a poor and indi- 
gent body ; and even this is the spoil 
of death ; for when we pass out of this 
world we leave it behind us forever. 

6. Whatever we enjoy from the time 
of our birth to the period of our dis- 
solution, is all the bread of mercy and 
affliction, and designed to supply the 
bare wants of this mortal life. At the 
approach of death all is taken from us 
again, and we depart out of the world 
poorer than when we entered it. 
When man enters the world, he brings 
with him life and a body, and finds the 
necessary shelter, meat, and drink pro- 
vided for him ; bat, after existing a 
short time, he is, in a moment, bereft 
of all, and leaves behind him even his 
body and his life. Consider then, O 
man ! whether there can be anything 
more wretched and poor, more naked 
and miserable, than man when he dies, 
if he be not clothed with Christ's right- 
eousness, and enriched in his God. 

7. As, therefore, we are confessedly 
strangers and pilgrims here, and at 
the hour of dissolution must leave be- 
hind us every earthly enjoyment, let 
us, at least, cease to encumber our 
souls with things which we cannot 
carry out of this world, and the use 
of which is restricted to this life only. 
Is it not a species of madness to heap 
up riches for a frail body, for a body 
which we must leave behind us, and 
which cannot possibly enjoy wealth 
hereafter? Luke 12 : 20, 21. Are we 
ignorant that there is another and a 
better world, another body and an- 
other life, and that, whatever we may 
appear in the sight of men, we are in 
the eye of God only strangers and so- 
journers on the earth? Ps. 39:12; 
Lev. 25 : 23. "Ye are," saith the Lord, 
" strangers and sojourners with me," 
that is, "before my eyes, although ye 
may not remember it." 



8. If, then, we are strangers and so- 
journers, it follows that our country 
and our home must be elsewhere. This 
will be most evident to us, if we com- 
pare time with eternity, the visible 
with the invisible world, the earthly 
tabernacle with the heavenly, and 
things that are frail and perishing, 
with/those that are lasting and eter- 
nal. Such a comparison will afford us 
a due insight into time and eternity, 
and lead us to behold with the eye of 
faith, such things as remain altogether 
unknown to the unthinking multitude. 
It is from the want of this considera- 
tion, that so many become lax and 
disorderly in their manners, wallow 
in the mire of earthly pleasures, and 
drown themselves in avarice and 
worldly cares. It is from the want 
of this reflection, that the major part 
of mankind, however keen and shrewd 
in the pursuits of this world, are blind 
and insensible to the concerns of the 
immortal soul. They addict them- 
selves so much to this life, as to esteem 
it to be the most delightful, the best 
and noblest of all; while the true 
Christian, on the contrary, accounts 
it an exile, a vale of tears, a place of 
misery, a deep and dark prison. 

9. Hence it is that those who love 
this world, and seek their happiness 
in it, do not excel even the brute cre- 
ation in wisdom or understanding; 
and as they live, so they die like 
beasts. Ps. 49 : 12, 20. They are to- 
tally blind as it respects the inward 
man; they do not even think of 
heavenly and eternal things; they 
never rejoice in God, but only in the 
low and sordid pleasures afforded by 
this world. It is in earthly things that 
they seek their rest and their enjoy- 
ment; and having obtained their ob- 
ject after much labor and toil, they sit 
quietly down and congratulate them- 



Chap. XVII.] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



53 



selves on their possessions. Wretched, 
miserable men ! blind and insensible 
to the tremendous concerns of their 
eternal salvation ! here, they lie con- 
tentedly in the darkness of ignorance, 
soon to remove hence to that of death 
and damnation. Luke 1 : 79. 

10. In order to our better acquaint- 
ance with the nature of our pilgrim- 
age here, we should unceasingly con- 
sider the example left us by the 
Eedeemer, and earnestly follow him 
both in his life and doctrine. He hath 
set us an unerring pattern of universal 
holiness. He is our captain and our 
guide ; and to his life and manners, 
our lives and our manners should be 
conformed. Go thou, therefore, and 
look unto him ; unto him who, when 
the greatest of all men, voluntarily 
chose that life in which nothing of 
greatness appeared ; a life of mean- 
ness, poverty, and contempt of honor, 
wealth, and pleasure, the threefold 
deity of this world. All these things, 
to which the world offers sacrifice, the 
Lord contemned ; for he himself said, 
" He had not where to lay his head." 
Matt. 8 : 20. 

11. Such, likewise, was the char- 
acter of David ; who, before his ex- 
altation to the throne, was poor and 
despised; and who, when created 
king, accounted all his regal splendor 
as nothing compared with eternal life, 
and the kingdom of God, to which he 
was called. "How amiable," says he, 
" are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! 
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for 
the courts of the Lord; my heart and 
my flesh crieth out for the living God." 
— " A day in thy courts is better than a 
thousand." Ps. 84. As if he had said, 
I possess indeed a kingdom, and have 
people subject to my sway; I possess 
kingly palaces, and the strong hold of 
Zion; but what are all these in com- 



parison of thy tabernacle, O Lord of 
hosts ? So, too, Job found comfort in 
his Eedeemer. Job. 19 : 25. 

12. Neither Peter, nor Paul, nor any 
of the apostles, sought the riches of 
this life, but directed their attention 
to those which were laid up in another 
and better world. Hence they freely 
espoused the despised life of Christ, 
walking in his charity, lowliness^ and 
patience; contemning the earth, and 
triumphing over the world, its snares, 
and its allurements. They prayed for 
those who cursed them; they thanked 
those who reproached them; they 
blessed those who reviled them. 1 
Cor. 4:12; Acts 5:41. When they 
were persecuted, they glorified God ; 
when scourged, they were immovably 
patient, professing that " through much 
tribulation they must enter into the 
kingdom of God" (Acts 14 : 22) ; and 
when slaughtered, they prayed (with 
Christ their Head), "Father, forgive 
them" (Luke 23:34); "lay not this 
sin to their charge." Acts 7 : 60. Thus 
were they, on the one hand, dead to 
all wrath and revenge; to bitterness, 
ambition, and pride; to the love of 
the world, and of their own life also ; 
while, on the other, they lived in 
Christ and in his love, in his meek- 
ness and humility, his patience and 
his resignation. They are, indeed, 
made alive in Christ by faith, who 
thus live. 

13. To a lover of the world, this 
excellent way of life is unknown ; for 
with regard to those who do not live 
in Christ, nor know that the truth is 
in him, these are still dead in their 
sins; dead in wrath and hatred, in 
envy and avarice, in pride and re- 
venge; and as long as they so con- 
tinue, they are in a state of impeni- 
tence, and have not been quickened 
by faith in Jesus, be their boasting 



54 



TBUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



what it may. But the genuine dis- 
ciples of Christ know it to be a duty 
to follow the steps of their divine 
Master (1 Pet. 2:21), and to be con- 
formed to his life, as the supreme and 
original pattern of all virtue and good- 
ness. In a word, the life of Christ is 
their exemplar; he himself is their 
book, whence they derive all solid and 
substantial learning, as it respects both 
life and doctrine. Such persons declare 
with the apostle, "We look not at the 
things which are seen, but at the things 
which are not seen; for the things 
which are seen are temporal, but the 
things which are not seen are external." 
2 Cor. 4 : 8. And with holy men of old 
they unite in saying, "Here have we 
no continuing city, but we seek one to 
come." Heb. 13 : 14. 

14. If, then, from a review of all 



these considerations, it evidently ap- 
pear, as it surely does, that in this 
world we are strangers and have no 
abiding place, it follows that we were 
not created for the sake of earthly 
things as the ultimate end of our 
being; but that there remain for us 
another country and other dwellings, 
to gain which we ought not to hesitate 
to sacrifice a hundred worlds, or even 
life itself. These are subjects upon 
which the true Christian continually 
meditates with pleasure ; and it is his 
joy that here he has no continuing 
city, but is created for life eternal. 
But how sad is the state of those who, 
occupied wholly in pursuing the things 
of this life, lade their souls with a 
crushing weight of worldly vanities, 
and thereby expose them to endless 
perdition 



V 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

SHOWING HOW GREATLY GOD IS OFFENDED, WHEN MAN PREFERS THINGS THAT ARE 
TEMPORAL TO THOSE THAT ARE ETERNAL; AND HOW GREAT THE EVIL IS, WHEN 
OUR AFFECTIONS CLEAVE TO THE CREATURE AND NOT TO THE CREATOR. 



And the anger of the Lord vms kindled ; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, 
and consumed them, etc. — Numb. 11 : 1. 



MANY there are, in our day, who, 
under cover of religion, seek 
after earthly and carnal things ; who 
use more diligence to become great 
and affluent by the gospel, than to be 
good and happy. They love " the 
praise of men, more than the praise 
of God." John 12 : 43. They choose 
rather to gratify the flesh in its sinful 
propensities, than to bring it down 
into true repentance and brokenness 
of spirit. But the character of the 



true Christian is of an opposite kind. 
He is more concerned about eternal 
than temporal things ; he seeks the 
glory that endureth, more than that 
which passeth away ; he thirsts after 
heavenly and invisible riches, and not 
after those that are earthly and visible. 
In short, he mortifies and crucifies the 
flesh, in order that the spirit may live. 
2. The sum of Christianity is to fol- 
low Christ. Hence, it should be our. 
chief care to imitate the example 



Chap. XVIII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



55 



which he has left us. Our thoughts 
and actions, our desires and labors, 
should all terminate in the attain- 
ment of this one thing needful, how we 
may come to Christ ; how be saved by, 
and united with him to all eternity. 

3. Never should we cease to consider 
that endless felicity to which we are 
called; but cheerfully await the dis- 
solution of our earthly bodies, and a 
translation to that inheritance which 
is reserved in heaven for us. 

4. By these means, which habituate 
the soul more and more to the pres- 
ence of God, there is begotten in man 
a holy thirst after eternal things j 
while a desire after earthly objects, 
which is insatiable in its nature, is at 
the same time powerfully restrained. 
This is taught by St. Paul in that 
precious saying: "Whatsoever ye do 
in word or deed, do all in the name of 
the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to Cod 
and the Father by him." Col. 3 : 17. 

5. The name of Cod, in which all 
things are to be done, is the honor, 
praise, and glory of Cod. Ps. 48 : 10. 
To this great end of human life, all 
our works should tend ; for then it is 
that they are wrought in Cod (John 
3 : 21), and will follow us into a 
blessed eternity. Eev. 14 : 13. 

6. In a word, Almighty Cod, our 
chief and sovereign Good should be 
the principle and end of all our designs, 
if we would not fail of eternal salva- 
tion. Hence St. Paul says, " But thou, 
O man of Cod, flee these things " (1 
Tim. 6 : 11) ; namely, covetousness and 
the love of the world. He calls the 
Christian, " a man of Cod," because 
he is born of Cod, and lives in Cod, 
and therefore is the son and heir of 
Cod; as, on the other hand, a man of 
the world, is one who lives in con- 
formity to the world, who " has his 
portion in this life, and whose belly 



is filled with the hid treasure" of 
the earth. Psal. 17 : 14. From these 
snares the Christian is required care- 
fully to flee, and to follow after right- 
eousness, godliness, faith, love, pa- 
tience, meekness ; and to lay hold on 
eternal life, whereunto he is called. 

7. When a man refuses to be guided 
by these salutary maxims, he falls of 
necessity into every kind of enormous 
and presumptuous sin, and will at last 
be punished with eternal fire. See, for 
an illustration, Numb. 11:1. 

8. Inundations and war, famine, 
pestilence, and conflagrations, are, it 
should be remembered, punishments 
inflicted by God, on account of our 
preferring things temporal to things 
eternal; and because we are more care- 
ful of a weak and perishing body, than 
we are of an imperishable, immortal 
soul. All this betrays the highest in- 
gratitude, and an open contempt of 
the blessed God, deserving to be visited 
with punishments, both here and here- 
after. For, does not man by such con- 
duct set aside an almighty, eternal 
Being, from whom he derives both his 
body and his soul; and convert an im- 
potent creature into an idol, to which 
he surrenders his love and affection ? 
He who loves the creature more than 
the Creator, and things transitory 
more than those which are eternal, 
offers surely the highest possible af- 
front to his Maker, and opposes the 
great design of the Christian religion.. 

9. It is no doubt true, that all the 
creatures of God are good in them- 
selves; but when men begin to set 
their affections on them, and by their- 
irregular love to convert them, as it 
were, into idols, they then become an. 
abomination in the sight of Cod, and. 
are justly ranked among the most. 
odious images of gold and silver. 

10. What else can result from a, 



56 



TKUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book 1. 



carnal love of the world but hell 
and damnation ! Consider the case 
of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19 : 24), 
and the one in Numb. 11 : 1, already 
mentioned. These are illustrations of 
the eternal fire and damnation which 
must follow a rejection of God. 

11. The love and joy, the wealth 
and honors of the true Christian, are 
circumscribed only by eternity itself; 
for, " where his treasure is, there will his 
heart be also." Luke 12 : 34. From the 
lust and love of the world, on the con- 
trary, nothing can result but eternal 
damnation. " The world passeth away 
and the lust thereof; but he that doeth 
the will of God abideth forever" (1 
John 2 : 17) : and hence, St. John calls 
upon the faithful entirely to withdraw 
their affections from the world; say- 
ing, "Love not the world, neither the 
things that are in the world." 1 John 
2 : 15. These and similar considera- 
tions powerfully convince us, that God 
will not permit us to fix our affections 
on any creature whatsoever. 

12. But this will more fully appear 
from the following reflections: 

I. Love is the very heart of a man, 
and the noblest of all his affections; 
hence, it is due to God only, as the 
supreme object, and sovereign Good. 

II. It is absolute folly to love tem- 
poral things, which cannot love us; 
whereas the infinitely blessed God de- 
serves to be loved alone, since from a 
pure principle of love, he created us 
unto eternal life, and hath, to the same 
purpose, redeemed and sanctified us. 

III. Like things are naturally loved 
by their like. Hence, God made us 
after his own image, in order that we 
might love Him; and that, next to 
himself, we might love our neighbor, 
»created after the same image. 

IY. The human soul resembles a 



mirror, representing every object in- 
differently that is placed before it, 
whether it be of heaven or of earth. 
Therefore turn thy soul wholly and 
only to God, that this image may be 
fully expressed in it. 

Y. The patriarch Jacob, when dwell- 
ing in Mesopotamia, far removed from 
his native soil, never abandoned his 
purpose to return, and, at length, after 
twenty years' service, demanded his 
wives and wages; and, cheered by the 
recollection of the place of his na- 
tivity, returned thither. So should 
thy soul, amidst the various engage- 
ments of this life, and the hurry of 
outward employments, long without 
ceasing after thy heavenly fatherland. 

VI. Man is made either better or 
worse by that which he loves. He 
that loves God, partakes freely of the 
divine virtue and goodness that re- 
side in Him ; but he that loves the 
world, is defiled with all those sins 
and evils which attend it. 

VII. When King Nebuchadnezzar 
(Dan. 4 : 33) was too much controlled 
by the love of the world, he lost the 
very form of a man, and degenerated 
into that of a beast. So all men, blot- 
ting from their hearts the image and 
love of God, are transformed, as it re- 
spects their inward man, into the na- 
ture of brutes. For surely those who 
wholly surrender themselves to the 
love of this world, are no better. 

VIII. Lastly, that which a man has 
loved here, and carried about in his 
heart, shall be manifested in him here- 
after; and with this he shall associate 
himself forever, whether it be God or 
the world. If the world have been the 
object of his love in this life, it will 
never leave him hereafter, but will 
prove his death and his tormentor to 
all eternity. 



Chap. XIX.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



57 



CHAPTER XIX. 

HE WHO IS MOST OF ALL CONSCIOUS OP HIS MISERY, IS MOST OP ALL ACCEPTA- 
BLE TO GOD; AND HIS CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE OF HIS MISERY, URGES HIM 
TO SEEK THE GRACE OF GOD. 

To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my 

word. — Isaiah 66 : 2. 



THEFE comfortable words, our gra- 
cious and merciful God hath 
spoken by the prophet, in order to 
cheer our hearts, when they are most 
oppressed with misery and sorrow. 
Be not thou therefore ashamed to be 
bruised in spirit, and abased in thine 
own eyes. Humble thyself in the 
dust, and deem thyself unworthy of 
all grace and favor; so shalt thou be 
raised out of thine own vileness, and 
obtain, in Christ, acceptance with Al- 
mighty God. 

2. He who is still something in his 
own estimation, is not duly humbled 
and depressed in his heart; nor can 
he expect to be regarded by that Be- 
ing who looks upon the poor and con- 
trite ones only. "If," says the apostle, 
"a man think himself to be something, 
when he is nothing, he deceiveth him- 
self" (Gal. 6:3): and the reason of 
this is, that God is all in all, alone; 
and the creature must consequently 
become a bare and empty nothing. So 
great and so practical is this truth, 
that man is not only to believe it in 
his heart, but to express it in his life 
and conduct. 

3. If ever thou designest, then, to 
give all glory and all honor to God, 
that He may be all, alone, thou must 
surely thyself become nothing in thine 
own eyes; and entertain a very low 
opinion of thyself, and of thy profiting 
in spiritual things. For how is it pos- 



sible that God should be all in all, 
whilst thou thyself continuest to be 
something? By this self-exaltation thou 
invadest the sovereignty of God, and 
appropriatest that to thyself, which is 
his proper due and prerogative. " It 
was before the Lord," said David to 
Michal, who had reproached him, "and 
I will yet be more vile than thus, and 
will be base in mine own sight." 2 
Sam. 6:21, 22. 

4. A man that will be something, is 
the matter out of which God is wont 
to make nothing; but he, on the con- 
trary, who loves to be reputed as noth- 
ing, and who, in his own judgment, is 
so, is the matter out of which the Al- 
mighty maketh something. He that 
will be wise in his own opinion, is the 
matter out of which God maketh a 
fool; and he who is truly sensible of 
his own folly and nothingness, is that 
of which God forms a wise and great 
man. He who, before the Lord, sin- 
cerely confesses himself to be the 
greatest and most miserable of sin- 
ners, is, in the sight of God, the first 
and greatest of all men. He who be- 
lieves himself to be the chief of sinners, 
shall be honored 'by the Lord as the 
chief of saints. Matt. 23: 12; Luke 1:52. 

5. This is that humility which God 
exalts ; that misery which he regards ; 
that nothing from which he createth 
something. And as, at the creation, the 
glorious frame of heaven and earth was 



58 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



brought forth out of nothing r , so must 
man be reduced to a deep sense of his 
vileness and nothingness, if ever he be 
exalted to glory and to dignity. 

6. Reflect upon the example of 
David, whose misery God beheld, and 
to whom he granted the richest gifts 
of his grace. Consider, again, the ex- 
ample of Jacob, who confessed, "I am 
not worthy of the least of all thy mer- 
cies." Gen. 32 : 10. 

7. But above all, lay to heart the ex- 
ample of Christ, the grand and blame- 
less pattern of a Christian. He was 
abased below the meanest of men ; was 
made a worm and a curse for our sake 
(Ps. 22 : 6), despised and rejected of 
men. Isaiah 53 : 3. But the lower he 
sunk, the higher did he afterwards 
rise, when he received a name which 
is above every name. 

8. But who is that blessed and lowly 
one who is nothing in his own eyes? 
It is he who inwardly and in his heart 
esteems himself worthy of no divine 
benefit, whether bodily or spiritual. 
For he that arrogates anything to 
himself, esteems himself to be some- 
thing ; and is, therefore, the farthest 
removed from divine grace and from 
this new creation. So destructive is 
the spirit of self, that it renders even 
grace of no effect, and shuts out that 
which contains all things in it. For 
if a man judge himself worthy of any- 
thing, he then does not take all things 
as a free gift from the hands of God. 
Whatever we are, however, is of grace 
and not merit; nor can we call any- 
thing our own, except our sins, our 
helplessness, and our misery. All else 
belongs to God. 

9. A man considered in himself, that 
is, independently of God, by whom he 
subsists, is no more than a shadow. 
And as the shadow of a tree con- 
stantly conforms to the tree on which 



it depends, so should man conform 
to the will of God from whom he 
has his very life and being; as the 
apostle says: "In him we live, and 
move, and have our being." Acts 17 : 
28. It is true, the fruit will some- 
times appear in the shadow of the 
tree; yet it does not therefore belong 
to the shadow, but to the tree : so all 
the good fruits that may appear in 
thy life and conduct, are not the pro- 
duce of thy own self and thy ability, 
but of God alone, who is the original 
source whence all good fruits proceed. 
And as the apple grows not from that 
gross substance the wood, which is 
seen by the eye, but from the seminal 
virtue which the tree contains, and 
which is made active from above ; so 
the new man, and the fruit he bears, 
spring not up from anything that is 
gross and visible to the eye, but from 
a supernatural and invisible seed. 

10. Now, man is by nature a dry 
tree; but God is his strength, whereby 
life is renewed in him, and he himself 
is made fat and green in the house of 
God. God is the "strength of our 
life" (Psal. 27 : 1), says the Psalmist : 
and hence we " shall bring forth much 
fruit whilst we abide in Christ." John. 
15 : 5. 

11. When a man is thus wretched 
and poor in his own eyes, and has 
nothing in the world in which to 
trust but the pure grace of God, mani- 
fested in Christ Jesus, then God gra- 
ciously "looks upon him." This di- 
vine regard must be understood in a 
divine sense. The look or counte- 
nance of God, is not as the counte- 
nance of men, destitute of life and 
virtue : but it is accompanied with a 
living power and influence that sup- 
ports and revives the faint and peni- 
tent sinner. And as none but the 
humble and contrite are capable of 



Chap. XIX.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



59 



this heavenly regard ; so the more 
fully they receive the consolation 
which God grants, the less do they 
think themselves worthy of it. Such 
a one deems himself unworthy of all 
blessings divine and temporal. He 
says with Jacob, "I am not worthy 
of the least of all the mercies, and of 
all the truth which thou hast shewed 
unto thy servant:" for behold, since 
thou gavest me thy Son Jesus Christ, 
I come with two bands, wath the 
blessings of grace and of glory. G-en. 
32 : 10. And truly, if a man should 
weep a sea of tears, it were by no 
means sufficient to purchase or de- 
serve the least part of heavenly com- 
fort : the grace of God cannot be 
merited by men, who deserve nothing 
but wrath and eternal damnation. 

12. "Whoever thus acquaints himself 
in faith with his own misery, is truly 
one of those poor and contrite men, 
to whom the Lord graciously looks. 
Without this previous brokenness of 
heart, man cannot expect to enjoy 
this blessed aspect of God, nor indeed 
that grace and kindness which is 
promised to the poor in spirit only. 
In this weakness and poverty the 
apostle glories, when he says : " If I 
must needs glory, I will glory of the 
things which concern mine infirmities" 
(2 Cor. 11 : 30) : and he adds the reason : 
" that the power of Christ may rest 
upon me." 2 Cor. 12 : 9. For so great 
indeed is the mercy of God, that he 
will not see the work of his hands de- 
stroyed : but the weaker the creature 
is in itself, the more is it sustained by 
the power of an Almighty Being. 
For in the weakness of the creature, 
the power of God- is exalted, as the 
Lord declared unto Paul : " My grace 
is sufficient for thee ; for my strength 
is made perfect in weakness." 

13. The more vile and miserable 



therefore a Christian is in his own 
opinion, the more freely God looks 
upon him, to the greater manifesta- 
tion of the riches of his glory. And 
in bestowing this heavenly consola- 
tion, he does not look at all on man's 
merit, but barely on his want and 
poverty. And this comfort can in no 
degree be compared with any human 
comfort, all which it infinitely ex- 
ceeds. In such a sense, then, God 
looks to the contrite man and com- 
forts his spirit. 

14. By " the poor and contrite 
man," is not to be understood, a man 
that is poor in the outward sense of 
the word, or who is altogether desti- 
tute of human help and relief; but he 
is the poor man, who labors under the 
load of his sins, and is grieved for 
them. If sin were not in the world, 
there could be no misery: but now so 
much misery cannot befall a man, but 
that he is still worthy of much more. 
Ps. 103 : 10. Far be it therefore from us 
to grieve, because we have not many 
temporal benefits conferred upon us j 
since we are not worthy even of the 
least of them, no, not of life itself. 
Our flesh and blood may think this a 
hard saying; yet every penitent sin- 
ner ought to be a severe judge in his 
own case, and ought not to make the 
least allowance to his carnal propensi- 
ties. This is the order in which we 
are to obtain God's favor and mercy. 

15. And what has man now left to 
boast of, or what language shall he 
employ when he opens his mouth? 
The best course he can take will be to 
say simply, "Lord, I have sinned; 
have thou mercy upon me!" And, 
truly, God himself requires no more 
from a man than that he humbly de- 

i plore his sin, and in the unfeigned 
language of repentance pray for par- 
don. Whoever neglects this, may be 



60 



TEUE CHEISTLANITY. 



[Book I 



said to have slighted the best and 
most needful part of his being, Weep 
not therefore, O Man! on account of 
thy body, that it is naked and sick, 
pinched with hunger and cold, in- 
sulted and persecuted; or because it 
is confined by bonds and a prison: 
but humble thyself before the Lord, 
and bewail the woful condition of 
thy soul, which is constrained to 
dwell in so wretched a house as thy 
body is, a house of sin and death. 
"O wretched man," says the apostle, 
" who shall deliver me from the body 
of this death ?" Eom. 7 : 24. This 
free and Christian acknowledgment 
of thine own inward misery, this 
godly sorrow, this thirst after divine 
grace, this faith leaning on Christ 
alone, open, in Christ, the door of 
grace, by which God enters into thy 
soul. " Be zealous, therefore, and re- 
pent. Behold, I stand," saith the 
Lord, "at the door and knock; if any 
man hear my voice, and open the 
door, I will come in to him, and sup 
with him, and he with me " (Eev. 
3 : 20) : which supper is nothing else 
than the remission of sin, attended 
with heavenly comfort, with life and 
blessedness. This is the door of faith 
(Acts 14 : 27), through which the 
Lord, at the right time, enters into 
the soul; and after the day of toil and 
sorrow is over, refreshes her with the 



light of his countenance. Then it is, 
that " mercy and truth meet to- 
gether; righteousness and peace kiss 
each other ; that truth springs out of 
the earth, and righteousness looks 
down from heaven." Ps. 85 : 10, 11. 
Then it is that the woman, that poor 
sinner, but now a penitent, anoints 
the feet of her Lord, washes them 
with tears, and wipes them with the 
hairs of her head, expressing thereby 
all the marks of an unfeigned and 
deep humility. Luke 7 : 37. Then it 
is, that the spiritual priest (Eev. 1 : 6), 
in the holy ornaments of faith, offers 
up the true sacrifice, even a broken 
and lowly spirit, with the incense of 
true contrition and prayer. Ps. 51 : 19. 
Then it is that the true sanctified 
water of purifying (Numb. 8:7) is 
applied, — the tears which grief for sin 
caused to flow; and now, through 
faith and by the power of the blood 
of Christ, the spiritual Israelite is 
washed and cleansed. 

16. And thus, O Christian ! is seen 
how by the sense of thy own misery, 
and by faith in Christ attending it, 
thou mayest attain the grace and 
favor of God. To conclude, the more 
wretched and miserable any one is in 
his own judgment, the more dearly he 
is beloved of God, and the more gra- 
cious is the regard which the Lord 
will bestow upon him. 



Chap. XX.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



61 



CHAPTER XX. 



/ 



A TRULY CHRISTIAN SORROW FOR SIN PROMOTES THE DAILY AMENDMENT OP 
THE LIFE OF MAN, MAKES HIM MEET FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND FITS 
HIM, IN AN INCREASING DEGREE, FOR ETERNAL LIFE. 

Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world 

worketh death. — 2 Cor. 7 : 10. 



TEUE Christianity consists solely 
in pure faith, love, and a holy life. 
This holiness of life springs from true 
repentance, sorrow, and self-knowl- 
edge; so that a man not only more 
and more feels his failings and imper- 
fections, but amends them also, and, 
in this order, partakes of the right- 
eousness and holiness of Christ by 
faith. 1 Cor. 1 : 30. 

2. But in order to regulate the 
grand work of salvation with the bet- 
ter order and care, thou oughtest now 
to walk in a submissive and filial fear 
of God, guarding against all that would 
gratify the flesh. " All things are law- 
ful," says the apostle, " but all things 
are not expedient" (1 Cor. 6:12); 
that is, " all things edify not." 1 Cor. 
10 : 23. As a dutiful child, confined to 
the father's house, does not so much 
as attempt to follow his own humor 
in everything; but, unwilling to of- 
fend his parent, observes his will and 
pleasure: so a true Christian and child 
of God will behave himself in his 
Father's house, in so careful a man- 
ner, as not to allow his senses any un- 
lawful liberty. He will neither do nor 
speak anything without consulting 
first his Father in heaven, under 
whose eye he constantly lives, know- 
ing that He is everywhere present. 

3. Most men live without any fear 
of God, freely indulging themselves 
in worldly pleasures and satisfaction. 



They will not consider that it is far 
better to have a constant fear of God 
fixed in the heart, than a constant joy 
of the world. For as the fear of God 
is the beginning of wisdom, and begets 
a serious frame of mind; so the joy 
of this world extinguishes all good im- 
pressions, and banishes true wisdom 
out of the heart, together with all 
godly fear and devotion. 

4. By daily repentance and mortifi- 
cation of the flesh, man is daily re- 
newed in God's image; for "though 
our outward man perish, yet the in- 
ward man is renewed day by day" (2 
Cor. 4 : 16) ; and often, in the midst of 
his sorrows, is he visited with a taste 
of heavenly joy and sweetness. Where- 
as, the pleasure and joy of the world 
are always attended with heaviness 
of heart, and an inward sting of a 
wounded conscience. If the people 
were but more sensible of the melan- 
choly effects resulting from worldly 
pleasure, and particularly of that 
damp which it puts upon heavenly 
comfort, they would certainly dread 
all loose and worldly enjoyments: 
since thereby the grace of devotion is 
quenched, and the soul diverted from 
those purer pleasures which the Gos- 
pel of Christ affords. 

5. There are two things which pre- 
vent those who seriously consider 
them from being influenced either by 
worldly pleasures or outward calam- 



62 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book 1 



ities. The one is, the eternal pain of 
the damned; whoever earnestly pon- 
ders it, will almost find it impossible 
to be thoroughly merry after the way 
of the world. The other is, the eternal 
joy of the blessed in heaven. "Whoever 
has a sound apprehension of so happy 
a state, will never be greatly moved 
with the calamities of the present life; 
and this arises from the consideration 
of the eternity of those divine enjoy- 
ments. But so great is the levity of 
our hearts, that it hinders us from any 
serious reflection on so important a 
subject. And hence it is no wonder 
that we are both without this whole- 
some contrition and sorrow, and igno- 
rant of all celestial joys and comforts. 

6. It is the prerogative of a true 
Christian to be, on the one hand, but 
sparingly, if at all, moved with earthly 
things, or temporal advantages; and, 
on the other, to be the more deeply im- 
pressed with the joys of God, and of 
life eternal. Neither is he immoder- 
ately dejected in the present advers- 
ities that may befall him; but the loss 
of the soul grieves him to his very 
heart, and he counts it worthy of long 
lamentation. As for the perishing 
comfort of this life, he knows it can- 
not be called a loss, since he shall re- 
ceive a thousand-fold for it in the world 
to come. But when a soul is once cast 
away, it can never be restored. 

7. Blessed is the man who is affected 
with godly sorrow, and tastes that ce- 
lestial consolation which succeeds it. 
But, alas ! how much of our time do 
we spend in worldly joy and merri- 
ment, when we have greater reason 
to bewail our own misery and that 
of others ! There is no true liberty, 
no solid delight, no substantial satis- 
faction, but in the fear of God, and in 
a quiet, serene conscience. But this 
blessing can never exist without faith, 



and without a holy life and conversa- 
tion. This faith, attended with godly 
sorrow, daily proceeds more and more 
to correct our faults and imperfections. 
Whoever neglects this daily reform of 
his life and manners, wastes the most 
precious part of his time, which he 
should employ to secure the interest 
of his immortal soul. He is an adver- 
sary to the new life; he hinders the 
kingdom of God in himself; and he 
can never be cured of the blindness 
and hardness of his heart, so long as 
he remains in that state. 

8. It follows, therefore, that he only 
deserves the name of a prudent and 
wise man, who carefully avoids what- 
ever he understands to be an obstacle 
to the reforming of his life, and to the 
improving of himself in heavenly gifts 
and graces. Happy is he who not 
only avoids such things as are detri- 
mental to his body and estate, but 
also detests those which hinder the 
soul in her spiritual progress. 

9. Be therefore courageous, O Man, 
and endure hardness as a good soldier 
of Christ ! 2 Tim. 2:3. An evil habit 
of mind must be overcome with a 
good one. It is the apostle's exhor- 
tation : " Be not overcome of evil, but 
overcome evil with good." Eom. 12 : 
21. The cure of thy soul is not im- 
possible. View, in the first place, thy 
own corruptions, and judge them se- 
verely, before thou presumest to cen- 
sure the faults of thy neighbor. Be 
not too forward in admonishing and 
correcting others ; but endeavor to 
heal first thy evils at home, before 
thou enterest upon the reforming of 
those that are abroad, fir 

10. Go on, therefore, O Christian, 
and learn the lesson of daily repent- 
ance, sorrow, and contrition of heart. 
If the world despise thee upon that 
account, and decry this wholesome 



Chap. XX.] 



TKTJE CHBISTIANITY. 



C3 



exercise as error and as melancholy, 
be not concerned at such poor and 
empty reflections. Grieve rather that 
thou art called indeed a Christian, 
but that thou hast not yet arrived at 
that strictness of life and purity of 
mauners, which the Gospel requires. 
Bear the contempt of the world with 
Christian constancy, and consider the 
singular benefit which thence accrues 
to the whole practice of true religion. 
For, if thou be scorned by the world, 
then God is ready to support thee by 
fresh supplies of life and comfort, ac- 
cording to his own declaration: "I 
dwell in the high and holy place; 
with him also that is of a contrite and 
humble spirit, to revive the spirit of 
the humble, and to revive the heart 
of the contrite ones." Isa. 57 : 15. 

11. It is impossible that divine and 
worldly joy should, at one and the 
same time, reside in the heart of man ; 
so very contrary are they to each 
other, and so inconsistent in their na- 
tures, causes, and effects. The joy of 
the world is begotten in prosperity; 
but that which is from heaven, springs 
up in the midst of crosses and adver- 
sities. 

12. It is true that it is against the 
bent of nature to rejoice in the time 
of adversity, as the apostle himself 
seems to intimate : " As sorrowful, 
yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet 
making many rich ; as having noth- 
ing, and yet possessing all things." 
2 Cor. 6 : 10. But then it is no less 
true, that the grace of God cleanses 
our nature, and qualifies it for such 
spiritual exercises. And it was after 
this change that the apostles rejoiced, 
because they were "counted worthy 
to suffer shame for the name of Christ." 
Acts 5 : 41. 

13. A Christian is become by the 
grace of God, a new creature, and 



hence the tribulations of this life are 
made easy to him. The apostle de- 
clared, that he even " gloried in trib- 
ulations." Eom. 5:3. As affliction is 
a grievous burden to the old man, so 
it gives ease and joy .to the new man 
in Christ. Again, that joy which is 
from above, infinitely surpasses that 
which is from below. Nay, the very 
reproach and contempt which a Chris- 
tian undergoes for the sake of Christ, 
is attended with a secret satisfaction : 
and the reason we are so little af- 
fected with these heavenly visitations, 
is on account of the joy of the world, to 
which we are still too much addicted. 

14. A truly humble man thinks 
himself worthy of all manner of suffer- 
ings, and unworthy of any divine com- 
fort : but the more unworthy he thinks 
himself in true brokenness of spirit, 
the more is he visited with the good- 
ness of God. And the more he weeps 
over his sin, the more is he weaned 
from worldly enjoyments; for the 
whole world gradually becomes to 
him a burden and a bitter affliction. 

15. A man that seriously views him- 
self and his inward condition, finds 
more reason to mourn than to rejoice. 
And when he takes a survey of the 
lives of others, he will undoubtedly 
meet with abundance of objects wor- 
thy of pity or of compassion, rather 
than of hatred and envy. Why did 
Christ weep over Jerusalem, even 
over that Jerusalem which persecuted 
and slew hirn? Luke 19:41. Truly 
their sin and blindness was the evi- 
dent cause of it. And in this he has 
also left us a pattern, and with deep 
feeling taught us, that nothing in the 
world should more powerfully melt 
us into tears and compassion, than 
our own sins, and the impenitence 
and carnal security which everywhere 
abound. 



64 



TKUE CHKXSTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



16. Did a man as often revolve in 
his mind, that he must certainly die, 
and appear before the judgment-seat 
of God, as he thinks on the concerns 
of this life, and how to provide for 
them, surely he would be abundantly 
more serious in his conversation, 
more diligent in the reformation of 
his life, and more fervent in all the 
duties of repentance. Did he more- 
over call td mind the unspeakable 
and eternal torments of hell, succeed- 
ing, as they do, a short enjoyment of 
sin; this consideration would embitter 
to him the sweets of this world, and 
in comparison, render all the afflic- 
tions of this life, pleasant and easy to 
him. Bat alas ! the enticements of the 
flesh are so strong and prevalent, and 
our compliances in their favor, so for- 
ward, that we seldom yield to such 
serious reflections as these. 

17. Upon the whole, this should be 
a Christian's daily consideration : if 
his body be pampered in lust and 
luxury ; if the flesh be humored and 
gratified in its inordinate cravings; 
then the life of the spirit loses its 
vigor, and if not seasonably supported, 
will pine away into death and de- 
struction. Whereas, if the flesh be 
crucified with its lusts and desires, 
the spirit lives and gathers strength. 
One is the death of the other. If, 
therefore, the spirit shall live in thee, 
then thy body must be certainly made 
a spiritual sacrifice (Eom. 12 : 1), and 
must spiritually die to the world, and 
to all conformity with it. 

18. This has been the constant prac- 
tice of all the saints, from the begin- 
ning of the world until now. They 
have with thanksgiving eaten and 
drunk the bread and cup of tears, ac- 
cording to that declaration of David: 
"Thou feedest us with the bread of 
tears, and thou givest us tears to 



drink in great measure/' Ps. 80 : 5. 
And in another Psalm: "My tears 
have been my meat day and night." 
Ps. 42 : 3. Again, "I have eaten ashes 
like bread, and mingled my drink with 
weeping." Ps. 102 : 9. 

19. This has been the "daily bread" 
of all the saints to this day; yet it has, 
however, been sweetened to them, 
faith being mixed with it. This is 
that godly " sorrow which worketh 
repentance to salvation, not to be re- 
pented of." 2 Cor. 7 : 10. 

20. But as this godly sorrow is at- 
tended with life and happiness, so the 
" sorrow of the world worketh death " 
itself. 2 Cor. 7 : 10. This kind of sor- 
row arises from the loss of honor, of 
temporal goods and estates, and other 
things of that nature. This sorrow 
has proved so fatal to many, that 
they have laid violent hands on them- 
selves, and procured their own ruin 
and death by various contrivances. 
Of this there are not wanting many 
examples in the history both of Pa- 
gans and Christians: though, indeed, 
the latter ought better to understand 
the maxims and doctrines of Christ, 
who has abundantly taught us, not to 
set our hearts on objects so frail and 
perishing. For what is the loss of a 
handful of fading things, to the life of 
a man, with which all the goods of 
this world cannot be compared ? 

21. Be not, therefore, cast down by 
the loss of temporal goods, which, by 
the very laws of nature, we can enjoy 
but a little while: but lay the more to 
heart those incorruptible riches, that 
are laid up in the world to come ; and 
do whatever thou canst to prevent the 
loss of them. Death will strip thee at 
last of all worldly possessions. Here 
shall be an end of pomp and great- 
ness. This law of death is equally 
given to all, and the penalty of it at- 



Chap. XX.] 



TEÜE CHRISTIANITY. 



65 



taches to all alike. The greatest king 
is seized on the throne, and the mean- 
est beggar on the dunghill (1 Sam. 
2 : 8; Ps. 113 : 7); for as the body of 
the one is, so is also the body of the 
other: both putrefy and turn alike to 
corruption. Nevertheless, the Lord 
will remove at length the veil of the 
shadow of death, which is spread over 
all nations, and will " swallow up 
death in victory" (Isa. 25:8), and 
" wipe away all tears from our eyes." 
Rev. 7: 17; Isa. 25 : 8. 

22. Let these and the like consider- 
ations, induce thee patiently to bear 
the loss of earthly things; remember- 
ing that the whole world does not 
come up to the price of one soul, for 
which Christ vouchsafed to die. The 
more thou withdrawest thy heart 
from temporal goods and estates, the 
less will it affect thee, when thou shalt 
be obliged one way or other to -leave 
them. Thy grief will undoubtedly be 
the greater, the more thy love has 
been wrapped up with them. Thus 
does the "labor of the foolish weary 
every one of them" (Eecl. 10: 15); 
as the wise man expresseth it. 

23. This is the unhappy state into 
which the children of this world plunge 
themselves. They hoard and amass 
their goods with assiduous pain and 
labor; they possess them with fear 
and anxiety of mind; and quit them 
at last with grief and groans, when 
they can no longer enjoy them. This 
is the "sorrow of this world," which 
begets no less an evil than death itself. 

24. We read, that such as adored 
the beast " had no rest" (Rev. 14 : 11) : 
so they that adore the great and toil- 
some beast of sordid and earthly Mam- 
mon, may be said to have no rest, day 
nor night. This description of men, 
most wretched and most unquiet as 
they are, may be fitly compared to 



camels, or mules. These animals, trav- 
ersing rocks and hills, and carrying 
gold and silver, silken garments and 
pearls, spices and wines, draw many 
attendants with them for their better 
security : but at night, when they are 
stabled, all their precious ornaments, 
their embroidered garments and vest- 
ments, are taken from them, and they, 
being weary and stripped, appear to 
be what indeed they are, poor and 
miserable beasts of burden. Nothing 
is now seen upon them but the prints 
of their stripes, and the marks of the 
blows which they received upon the 
road. So, in like manner, that man 
who in this world shone in gold and 
silks, in "purple and fine linen" (Luke 
16 : 19), when the day of his death is 
come, has nothing left but the prints 
and scars of a wounded conscience, 
contracted by the abuse of such riches 
as were committed to his trust. 

25. Therefore, O man ! learn to re- 
linquish this world, before it relin- 
quishes thee. If thou break not with 
the world, the world will break with 
thee, and leave horror and anguish 
behind it. He who withdraws his 
soul from the world, before he quits 
the world with his body, can joyfully 
die: since he is loosed from the ties 
which bound him to these inferior ob- 
jects. As the Israelites, when they 
were about to leave the land of Egypt, 
were daily afflicted with greater bur- 
dens by Pharaoh, who designed to de- 
stroy them, and, if possible, utterly to 
extirpate their progeny (Exod. 5:9); 
so the infernal Pharaoh, who desires 
to hinder our eternal salvation, when 
we are now upon the very borders of 
life everlasting, still attempts to load 
us with more of the concerns of this 
life, and thereby to obstruct our pas- 
sage into a better world. 

26. It is certain that we cannot 



66 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



carry with us the least dust of all our 
earthly possessions into the kingdom 
of heaven. Nay, our very body must 
be left behind us until the day of res- 
urrection. If we know anything, we 
know that the way leading to life is 
so very strait, as to strip the soul en- 
tirely of anything that will hinder her 
passage. "Narrow is the way which 
leadeth to life, and few there be that 
find it." Matt. 7 : 14. As the hus- 
bandman separates the wheat from 



the chaff, so death frees the soul from 
all the chaff and dross of this world, 
from all riches, and greatness, and 
worldly attire, which now, like the 
chaff, are driven away. 

27. Go therefore, O man, and seri- 
ously ponder in thy mind what the 
apostle declares: " Godly sorrow 
worketh repentance to salvation, not 
to be repented of : but the sorrow 
of the world worketh death. 7 ' 2 Cor. 
7 : 10. 



CHAPTER XXL 



OF THE TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD. 



The sons of Aaron offered strange fire before the Lord, and there went out fire from the Lord and 

devoured them. — Lev. 10: 1, 2. 



THIS fire is called strange, because 
it was different from that which 
continually burned upon the altar, and 
with which, according to the command 
of God, the burnt-offerings were con- 
sumed. It is, therefore, a type of false 
worship ; and the sons of Aaron were 
destroyed with avenging flames, be- 
cause they violated the divine precept. 

2. This marked displeasure of the 
jealous and righteous God, is in like 
manner provoked by those who, from 
the motion of their own unregenerate 
mind, and from a singular presumption 
of devotion or religious sanctity, in- 
troduce a new and peculiar worship 
of God; which, not being enjoined 
by himself, provokes his indignation, 
anger, and vengeance; because "God 
is. a consuming fire." Deut. 4 : 24; Heb. 
12:29. 

3. In order that we may not incur 



the wrath of the divine majesty, let us 
consider wherein the true worship of 
God consists; for the punishment of 
temporal fire, inflicted on false wor- 
ship under the Old Testament, is to us 
a proof, that the Lord will also, under 
theJS T ew dispensation, take the severest 
vengeance on all strange worship, not 
only with everlasting, but also with 
temporal fire, wars, desolations, and 
effusion of blood. 

4. Now, we can learn wherein the true 
worship of God consists, when we com- 
pare the Old Testament with the New. 
The ceremonies which the former pre- 
scribed, referred typically to the Mes- 
siah. Devout Jews saw, as it were, 
the Messiah from afar, believed on 
him, and, according to the promise, 
obtained deliverance from sin and 
death through him. But our worship, 
according to the New Testament, does 



Chap. XXL] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



67 



not consist in external ceremonies; we 
are taught to worship God in spirit 
and in truth, that is, to believe in 
Christ, who fulfilled the Law. Thus 
he redeemed us from the curse of the 
law (Gal. 3 : 13), and made us free from 
all Jewish ceremonies (Gal. 5:1); so 
that now, by the indwelling of the 
Holy Spirit, we serve God with a will- 
ing heart and mind (Jerem. 31:33; 
Eom. 8 : 14), and our conscience and 
faith are not bound by human ordi- 
nances. 

5. To true, spiritual, internal Chris- 
tian worship, three things belong. 1. 
The true knowledge of God. 2. The 
knowledge of sin, accompanied with 
unfeigned repentance. And 3. The 
knowledge of grace, attended with re- 
mission of sin. 

6. The knowledge of God consists in 
faith, which apprehends Christ, and 
in him, and through him, knows God, 
his omnipotence, love, mercy, right- 
eousness, truth, wisdom; all which are 
God himself. For what is God? Surely 
no other than pure omnipotence, pure 
love and mercy, pure justice, truth, 
and wisdom. And the same is to be 
said of Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. 

7. But whatever God is, he is not 
to himself only, but also to me, by his 
gracious will, made manifest in Christ 
Jesus. Thus to me is God omnipotent ; 
to me he is merciful; to me eternal 
righteousness, through faith and re- 
mission of sins. To me, also, he is 
everlasting truth and wisdom. Thus 
it is, also, with Christ. He is made to 
me eternal omnipotence, the almighty 
Head, and Prince of my life, my most 

. merciful Saviour, everlasting love, un- 
changeable righteousness, truth, and 
wisdom; according to the words of the 
apostle: "Christ is of God made unto 
us, wisdom, and righteousness, and 
sanctifi cation, and redemption." 1 Cor. 



1 : 30. All of which is also true of the 
Holy Spirit, who is my eternal love, 
righteousness, truth, and wisdom. 

8. This is the true knowledge of 
God, which consists in faith. It is 
not some empty and speculative sci- 
ence, as people imagine; but a cheer- 
ful, lively, and effectual reliance on 
God, in which I feel the rays and in- 
fluences of the divine Omnipotence 
really descending upon me, so that I 
perceive how I am upheld and pre- 
served by him; how "in him I live, 
and move, and have my being." Acts 
17 : 28. I must also taste the riches 
of his goodness and mercy. Is not 
that which the Father, Christ, and 
the Holy Spirit, have done for thee, 
for me, and for us all, the effect of 
pure love ? "VYhat more perfect and 
complete righteousness can there be 
than that, by which he rescues us 
from sin, hell, death, and the devil ? 
And do not his truth and wisdom 
most conspicuously appear in all that 
he has accomplished for us ? 

9. This, therefore, is the true and 
substantial faith, which consists in a 
living and effectual reliance on God, 
and not in empty words. In this 
knowledge of God, or faith, we must, 
as becomes the children of God, make 
daily advances, and abound more and 
more. 1 Thess. 4 : 1. Hence the apos- 
tle pours out most fervent prayers, 
"that we may know the love of 
Christ, which passeth knowledge." 
Eph. 3 : 19. As if he had said, "Though 
it were the sole care of our lives to 
learn the depth of the love of Christ, 
yet would there still remain continual 
and never-failing matter for further 
inquiry." Neither is it to be supposed, 
that this knowledge consists in a bar- 
ren acquaintance with the universal 
love of Christ, extending itself over 
the whole world; but we must also 



68 



TEUE CHEISTIAISTITY. 



[Book I. 



taste it in our own hearts; we must 
experience the sweetness and delight, 
the power and vital influx of this im- 
mense kindness displayed in the Word, 
and embraced by faith. Can he say 
that he knows the love of Christ, who 
never tasted its sweetness? Hence it 
is said of some that were endued with 
this experimental sense, that they had 
"tasted of the heavenly gift, and the 
good word of God, and the powers of 
the world to come." Heb. 6 : 4. All 
this is effected by faith through the 
"Word. The same experience of the 
divine love is also intimated by the 
" shedding abroad of the love of God 
in our hearts by the Holy Ghost." 
Eom. 5:5. In this consist the fruit 
and efficacy of the Word of God. And 
this only is the true knowledge of 
God, proceeding from experience, and 
founded on a living faith. For this 
reason the Epistle to the Hebrews 
calls our faith a substance, and a cer- 
tain and well-grounded evidence. Heb. 
11 : 1. And this knowledge of God, 
that arises from a living faith, is one 
part of the inward and spiritual wor- 
ship of God. In a word, faith is a 
spiritual, living, and heavenly gift; 
yea, the very light and power of God. 
10. When, therefore, this true knowl- 
edge of God is attained, by which God 
offers himself, as it were, to be touched 
and tasted by the soul, according to 
that Psalm, " taste and see that the 
Lord is good " (Ps. 34 : 8) ; it is im- 
possible that a sincere repentance 
should not immediately ensue; that 
is, a real renovation of the mind,' and 
reformation of the life. For, from a 
sense and knowledge of the divine 
Omnipotence, proceeds humility; since 
he must necessarily submit himself 
unto the mighty hand of God, who 
has perceived its irresistible power 
and energy. From the experience of 



the divine mercy arises charity to our 
neighbor ; for no man can be unchari- 
table who has ever been affected by a 
sense of the divine compassion. Who 
can refuse to lend to his neighbor, 
that considers that God, from pure 
mercy, has bestowed himself upon us? 
From the long-suffering of God, pro- 
ceeds great patience towards our neigh- 
bor; so that were it possible that a 
true Christian could be killed seven 
times a day, and as many times be re- 
stored to life again, yet would he al- 
ways freely forgive his murderer, and 
this on account of the boundless mercy 
of God conferred upon himself. From 
the divine justice flows the knowledge 
of sin, as the prophet teaches us: 
" Eighteousness belongeth unto thee, 
O Lord, but unto us confusion of 
faces." Dan. 9:7. " Enter not into 
judgment with thy servant, for in thy 
sight shall no man living be justified." 
Ps. 143 : 2. " If thou, Lord, shouldest 
mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall 
stand?" Ps. 130 : 3. From the knowl- 
edge of the truth of God, flow fidelity 
and candor towards our neighbor; and 
all fraud, deceit, lying, and other such 
sinister practices, are, in consequence, 
freely abandoned. The sincere Chris- 
tian reasons thus with himself: "God 
forbid that I should deal deceitfully 
with my neighbor ; for then I should 
offend the truth of God, which is God 
himself; since he has dealt so faith- 
fully with me, it would be the blackest 
impiety were I to act otherwise by my 
neighbor." The consideration of the 
eternal divine wisdom produces the 
fear of God. For whoever knows God 
to be the Searcher of hearts, viewing 
the most secret recesses, must neces- 
sarily dread the eyes of the divine 
majesty. " He that planted the ear, 
shall he not hear? He that formed 
the eye, shall he not see ?" Ps. 94 : 9. 



Chap. XXI.] 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



69 



Therefore, " Woe unto them that seek 
deep to hide their counsel from the 
Lord, and their works are in the dark, 
and they say, "Who seeth us ? and who 
knoweth us ? Surely your turning of 
things upside down shall be esteemed 
as the potter's clay : for shall the 
work say of him that made it, He 
made me not? Or shall the thing 
framed, say of him that framed it, He 
had no understanding?" Isa. 29:15, 
16; see also Jer. 23 : 24, and 32 : 19. 

11. From the true knowledge of God, 
arise the knowledge of sin, and conse- 
quent repentance. This repentance 
brings renovation of mind, and reno- 
vation of mind is accompanied with 
amendment of life. And this knowl- 
edge, together with those things that 
attend it, makes up the other part of 
the inward worship of God; and it is 
that sacred fire which, by the appoint- 
ment of God, is to be used with the 
sacrifices, lest his wrath should be 
kindled against us, and we be con- 
sumed by the fire of his vengeance. 

12. The injunction of God to the 
priests, not to drink wine or strong 
drink when they were about to enter 
the tabernacle (Lev. 10 : 9), is an il- 
lustration of this repentance; and in 
a spiritual sense, it extends itself to 
all Christians. For if we would enter 
into the tabernacle of God, even into 
life everlasting, it is necessary that 
we should abstain from the lusts of 
the world and of the flesh, and from 
all that tends to bring the spirit in 
bondage to the body. For the love of 
the world, the love of pleasure, pride, 
and other vices, are like palatable 
wine, by which the power of the soul 
and spirit is clouded, and at last 
brought under subjection to the flesh. 
Man, so subjected, is restrained from 
entering into the tabernacle of God ; 
that is, he cannot arrive at the knowl- 



edge and the sanctuary of God ; con- 
sequently he is deprived of that dis- 
cerning faculty, which distinguishes 
between things sacred and profane, 
clean and unclean; so that he under- 
stands nothing of divine and heavenly 
operations, and therefore is unfit to 
instruct those in sound doctrine who 
are committed to his care. His under- 
standing and thoughts are not en- 
lightened from above ; but being over- 
come with the wine of worldly lust, 
are eventually involved in gross dark- 
ness. This repentance, contrition, and 
grief for sin, and this true faith in 
Christ, are followed by the knowledge 
of grace and remission of sin ; which, 
as it proceeds from the merit of Christ 
only, so the benefit of this merit can 
be claimed by no man without repent- 
ance. Repentance was therefore nec- 
essary, even to the thief upon the 
cross, that his sin being first remitted, 
he might accompany Christ into para- 
dise. And that his repentance pro- 
ceeded from a heart affected with a 
holy contrition, appears from the re- 
proof which he gave his companion : 
" Dost not thou fear God? WeVreceive 
the due reward of our deeds ; but this 
man hath done nothing amiss" (Luke 
23 : 40), and from the request he ad- 
dressed to Christ: "Lord, remember 
me when thou comest into thy king- 
dom." Verse 24. These are most 
undeniable proofs of a contrite heart, 
embracing Christ and his merits by 
faith. 

13. This gracious absolution from 
sin,* which is apprehended in faith by 
a penitent heart, supplies all those de- 
fects under which we labor : but it is 
entirely the effect of the death and 
blood of Christ. All our offences are 
as completely annulled by his abund- 
ant satisfaction, as if they had never 
been committed. The merit of Christ 



70 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



is of that extent and power, that 
David exclaims : " Purge me with 
hyssop, and I shall be clean : wash 
me, and I shall be (not only as white, 
but even) whiter than snow/' Psal. 
51:7. 

14. Hence also it is, that God is 
said to mention the sin no more when 
the sinner returns to his duty. Ezek. 
18 : 22; 33 : 16. For whatever is fully 
and completely paid for, yea, blotted 
out too, must of necessity be buried in 
eternal oblivion. Isa. 43 : 25. But 
conversion must go before remission, 
according to the order proposed by 
the prophet himself: " Wash ye, 
make you clean, put away the evil of 
your doings from before mine eyes; 
cease to do evil. Come now and let 
us reason together : Though your sins 
be as scarlet, they shall be as w T hite 
as snow." Isa. 1 : 16. As if he had 
said : " Ye who require your sins to be 
forgiven, according to my covenant 
and promise, come forward and call 
me to an account. I do not indeed 
deny, that I promised you remission 
of sins ; but it was on no other terms 
than that you should first repent. 
Where is your repentance ? where is 
your true and living faith ? If you 
have these, all is well ! It shall not 
be my fault, if your sins (though as 
crimson in grain, though so deeply 
dyed, that neither heaven nor earth 
can blot them out), be not wholly par- 
doned and made whiter than snow." 
Repentance, therefore, is the true con- 
fession of sin ; and if you have this in 
yourself, namely, sorrow for sin mixed 
with faith, be assured, that Christ, by 
virtue of his death and blood, will en- 
tirely forgive you your sins. This 
blood, as it is shed for us, so it cries to 
God in heaven, and procures a full re- 
mission of sin. 

15. When a man is thoroughly af- 



fected with this sense of sin, he has- 
tens in spirit to those cities of refuge, 
of which three, Bezer, Kamoth, and 
Golan, were set apart on this side Jor- 
dan, by Moses, being appointed by him, 
in order that he who had inadver- 
tently killed his neighbor, might flee 
unto them and be preserved. Deut. 
4:41-43. 

16. And, alas! O Lord, how often 
have we inadvertently slain our neigh- 
bor with thoughts, words, hatred, 
envy, anger, revenge, and unmerciful- 
ness ! Let us, therefore, fly upon the 
wings of faith and repentance, to the 
sanctuary of the grace of God, and to 
the merit and cross of Christ. No 
sooner do we arrive there, but we are 
safe ; nor will the avenger measure to 
us again with that measure with which 
we served our neighbor. For by those 
cities of refuge, Christ Jesus is signi- 
fied and represented. He is the true 
Bezer, that is, a fenced tower, according 
to that saying of Solomon: "The 
name of the Lord is a strong tower: 
the righteous runneth into it, and is 
safe." Prov. 18 : 10. He also is the 
true Ramoth, which signifies exalted: 
for Christ is the Most High (Isa. 52: 
13; 57:15), "And at the name of Jesus, 
every knee shall bow, of things in 
heaven, and things in earth, and things 
under the earth." Phil. 2 : 10. Nor 
have we any other Golan besides him; 
which, as the word imports, is a heap 
or multitude, a storehouse of all man- 
ner of celestial gifts. Hence, we read 
in the Psalms : " With the Lord there 
is mercy; and with him is plenteous 
redemption." Psal. 130 : 7. And in the 
epistle to the Romans : "The Lord is 
rich unto all that call upon him." 
Rom. 10 : 12. 

17. And this is the third part of in- 
ward, spiritual, and true worship, aris- 
ing from the knowledge of God. This 



Chap. XXI.] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



71 



knowledge is also the source of re- 
pentance, as repentance is of remission 
of sins, and each rests on an experi- 
mental knowledge of God, as on a 
proper foundation to sustain it. 

18. Thus is the letter of the law of 
Moses changed into spirit, or into an 
inward, holy, and new life; and its 
sacrifices are converted into unfeigned 
repentance. Hereby we offer up unto 
God our body and soul, together with 
the sacrifices of praise and thanks- 
giving. Hereby we ascribe unto him 
alone, our knowledge, conversion, jus- 
tification and remission of sin, that 
God alone may be all in all, and his 
grace be worthily acknowledged, and 
celebrated with thankful hearts and 
tongues unto all eternity. This, then, 
as hath been already mentioned, is 
the true worship of God, of which the 
prophet says: "He hath shewed thee, 
O man, what is good; and what doth 
the Lord require of thee, but to do 
justly, and to love mercy, and to 
walk humbly with thy God?" Mic. 
6:8. O when, therefore, shall we 
wretched mortals become truly peni- 
tent, that we may obtain this gracious 
pardon of sin ? Forjwithout penitence 
it is impossible we should secure unto 
ourselves so incomparable a mercy. 
For how can sin be remitted, when 
there is no sense of sin, no sorrow af- 
fecting the mind, no hunger after di- 
vine grace ? And how can he grieve 
for sins, who utterly refuses to aban- 
don them, and to change his life for a 
better? May God, for Christ's sake, 
turn us, that so we may be truly 
turned ! Lam. 5 : 21. 

19. From these considerations it 
abundantly appears, that the true 
worship of God is seated in the heart, 
and consists in the knowledge of God, 
and in true repentance, which morti- 
fies the flesh; and, through grace, 



renews man after the divine image. 
In this order, man is made the holy 
temple of the Lord, where, through 
the good Spirit of God, internal wor- 
ship is performed, in the exercise of 
faith, charity, hope, humility, patience, 
prayer, thanksgiving, and the praise 
of God. 

20. But though this worship ha* 
regard to God himself, and is offered 
to him alone; yet far be it from us to 
believe, that God has any need of 
our adoration or service, or that he 
receives any advantage from it, or 
any addition to his perfection. Let 
us rather thiok, that such is the 
mercy of God to miserable men, that 
he is willing to impart himself wholly 
to us with all his benefits, to live, to 
operate, and to dwell in us, provided 
we be but ready, by true knowledge, 
by faith and repentance, to entertain 
him in the heart, that as in the school 
of the Spirit, he may teach us true 
wisdom, and carry on the work which 
he has so happily begun. 

21. For there is no work approved 
and accepted of God, but that of which 
he himself is the author. Therefore 
has he commanded us to repent and 
to believe, to pray and to fast ; not 
that the benefit in any way might 
return to him, but belong to us alone. 
For to God no man can give, and from 
him no man can take away; him none 
can profit, and none can injure. If 
we be found devout and sincere in 
his sight, we shall reap the advantage 
of it ourselves ; but if we be found 
false and corrupt, the evil will return, 
upon our own heads. But what harm,, 
O man, canst thou do to God, if evea 
thou shouldst wilfully persist in im- 
piety and a dissolute course of life ? 

22. God, therefore, commands that 
he should be served on thy account,, 
not on his own. He being Love it- 



72 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



self, it pleases him that many be found 
in his service, to whom he may freely 
impart the streams of his love, yea, 
even himself too. For as a mother 
cannot but love the infant that re- 



poses on her breast, so God takes a 
singular pleasure in a free and uncon- 
fined communication of his love and 
kindness. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



A TRUE CHRISTIAN IS KNOWN PRIMARILY BY LOVE, AND BY A DAILY 
AMENDMENT OF LIFE. 

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those 
that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall 
still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing ; to shew that the Lord is 
upright ; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. — Ps. 92 : 12-15. 



"VTOT a Christian name, but a Chris- 
-Li tian life, evidences a true Chris- 
tian : let this therefore be the care of 
the Christian, that in him Christ may 
be seen: and visibly appear unto others, 
in love, humility, and kindness ! for he 
in whom Christ does not live, cannot 
be a Christian. And this holy life, 
having its roots within, in the spirit 
and heart of a man, must of necessity 
proceed from this inward principle — 
just as the fruit proceeds from the 
inherent virtue of the tree. For it is 
necessary that our life should be in- 
fluenced by the Spirit of Christ, and 
fashioned after his example ; accord- 
ing to that saying of the apostle : 
" As many as are led by the Spirit of 
God, they are the sons of God." Eom. 
8 : 14. " Now if any man have not the 
Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" 
(Rom. 8:9): for all life proceeds from 
spirit; and as is the spirit which in- 
wardly acts, moves, and governs in a 
man, so will the man outwardly ap- 
pear. Whence it is evident, how nec- 
essary the Spirit of God is to a truly 
'Christian life; and, therefore, Christ 



has not only commanded us to pray 
for the Spirit, but has also promised 
unto us this gift. Luke 11 : 13. This 
Spirit is the Spirit of regeneration 
(Tit. 3 : 5), by which we are quickened 
in Christ, into a new, spiritual, and 
heavenly life, and from the life and 
never-dying power of this Spirit of 
God, every Christian virtue must be 
derived. It is then that " the right- 
eous man flourisheth as the palm tree, 
and groweth like a cedar in Lebanon." 
Ps. 92 : 12. 

2. Hence it follows, that a man must 
be first internally renewed in the spirit 
of his mind after the image of God; 
and that his inward desires and affec- 
tions must first be conformed to Christ 
(which the Apostle terms "the new 
man created after the image of God") 
(Eph. 4 : 24), before a suitable life can 
proceed from the heart. But as soon 
as the heart is inwardly renewed, the 
outward life proceeding from it is but 
a constant expression of that vital 
principle which prevails within the 
mind. Yea, since " God trieth the 
heart and the reins" (Ps. 7 : 9), it is 



Chap. XXII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



73 



reasonable that a man should possess, 
in the more secret recesses of his heart, 
even much more than outwardly ap- 
pears in his life. 

3. Though, in our inward part, we 
attain not unto the purity of angels, 
it is but just that we should fervently 
sigh after it. And, indeed, God ap- 
proves the desires of our spirit when 
it thirsts after a further purification : 
" The Spirit also helpeth our infirm- 
ities, and maketh intercession for us 
with groanings which cannot be ut- 
tered." Rom. 8:26. Yea, the blood 
of Christ purifies us by faith (Acts 
15 : 9), so that we are " without spot 
or wrinkle" (Eph. 5 : 27); and in this 
respect we possess, not the purity, 
holiness, and righteousness of any 
angel, but that of Christ; yea, and 
Christ himself. 1 Cor. 1 : 30. 

4. This undeserved righteousness, 
freely applied to us, must renew our 
body, soul, and sjurit, and produce a 
true holiness of life and manners. And 
this life, though it is at first like a 
tender palm tree, must daily become 
more and more vigorous in us, and 
gather strength in Christ Jesus. And 
our growth in Christ will be in pro- 
portion as we advance in faith, in 
virtue, and the practice of a Christian 
life and holiness. This is to "flourish 
like a palm tree." 

5. As the palm tree, when depressed, 
mounts the higher, so ought a Chris- 
tian to be renewed continually in his 
spiritual desires and exercises. Eph. 
4:23; Col. 3: 10. He is to strengthen 
himself every day with fresh purposes 
to walk suitably to his new name, and 
with unwearied endeavors to avoid the 
danger of being a false Christian. He 
is to proceed with vigor and earnest- 
ness, as if he had but this day been 
initiated into the principles of true re- 
ligion. For as one that enters upon a 



new office should have nothing more 
at heart than worthily to acquit him- 
self in his post; so also should we act, 
who are called unto Christ, "with a 
holy calling." 2 Tim. 1:9. If this holy 
purpose be not firmly rooted within, 
no amendment of life will ensue, no 
vigor in piety, no increase in Christ; 
yea, the very quickening Spirit of 
Christ must be wanting. For such a 
resolution and holy firmness of doing 
good is the work of the Spirit of 
God, and ofthat preventing or antici- 
pating grace which allures, invites, and 
moves all men. Happy is the man, 
who with his ears and heart proves 
obedient to it, and hearkens to that 
heavenly wisdom which "utters her 
voice in the streets." Prov. 1 : 20. In 
a word, whatever a man views with 
his eyes, is a manifestation of the Crea- 
tor, by which he calls upon man, and 
endeavors to draw him to the love of 
himself. 

6. Whenever, therefore, we feel this 
heavenly call or impulse upon our 
minds, we should immediately set our 
hand to work, and take care that a 
moment so invaluable do not slip away 
in a light and careless manner. This 
is an hour free from such obstacles as 
at other times closely beset us. If this 
be slothfully neglected, other days and 
times may possibly succeed, in which 
we cannot think, hear, speak, or do 
any good. This being foreseen by eter- 
nal Wisdom, she everywhere lifts up 
her voice, and calls upon us, lest we 
should neglect the opportunity which 
is so freely offered. 

7. As a tree planted in the open air 
readily admits the light of the sun, and 
the benign inflences of heaven; so the 
grace of G-od, with other celestial in- 
fluences, shines upon thee, O man, and 
would revive and nourish thee by its 
presence, if the affairs of this world 



74 



TKUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



did not hinder thee from receiving the 
benefit. 

8. Call to mind the shortness of the 
time appointed for life ! Seriously con- 
sider how many opportunities of doing 
good, and of reducing the Christian 
virtues into practice, thou hast already 
neglected. One half of thy life has 
possibly been consumed in sleeping, 
and the other in eating and drinking, 
and in other natural actions; so that 
when thou now comest to the grave, 
thou hast but just begun to enter upon 
a better life. 

9. If thou art afraid to die in wick- 
edness, O lead a holy life whilst thou 
art in good health ! If thou desirest 
to leave the world as a Christian, en- 
deavor to be a good Christian whilst 
thou art in it. Now, he only lives as a 
Christian, who demeans himself as if 



he were every day to die ; well know- 
ing that a good servant will at all 
times be ready at the call of his 
master. And God, by death, as by his 
messenger, summons us all before his 
tribunal. 

10. "Blessed," therefore, "is that 
servant, whom the Lord, when he com- 
eth, shall find watching. Of a truth, 
I say unto thee, that he will make 
him ruler over all that he hath." Luke 
12 : 37, 44. And who is it that watches, 
but he who does not suffer himself to 
be carried away by the world, or its 
unhappy votaries ? Let us, therefore, 
flee from both; knowing that the man- 
ners of this corrupt age are like bane- 
ful excrescences, which consume the 
vital sap of a tree, and, in a short time, 
cause it to wither. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 



HE WHO, IN CHRIST, DESIRES TO GROW IN GRACE, IS OFTEN COMPELLED TO 
WITHDRAW FROM WORLDLY SOCIETY. 

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts ! — My heart and my flesh crieth out for the 

living God.—Ts. 84: 1, 2. 



THOU actest wisely, if thou avoid- 
est too frequent an intercourse 
with worldly men. For as it is never 
better for our bodies than when they 
are at home ; so it is ever best with 
the soul, when it is at rest in its own 
habitation, which is God himself; from 
whom it derives life and being. To 
him, therefore, the soul must return 
again, if ever she is to enjoy rest, and 
find safety. 

2. It is observed of all creatures, 
that they nowhere thrive so well, as 



where they drew their first life and 
origin. Thus the sea to the fishes, 
the air to the birds, the earth to the 
plants, and God to the soul, is the 
place of rest, according to the Psalm- 
ist, " The sparrow hath found a house, 
and the swallow a nest for herself, 
where she may lay her young." Ps. 
84 : 2. As that man will bring trouble 
upon himself, who gives young people 
too much liberty to go abroad; so 
shall he suffer much, who yields up 
the reins of his tongue and thoughts, 



Chap. XXIII.] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



75 



allowing them to wander through the 
affairs of the world, as so many cir- 
cles of vanity. Be assured, that you 
will escape many faults, if you study 
to confine your thoughts within the 
limits of your heart. 

3. " Those that are planted in the 
house of the Lord shall flourish in the 
courts of our God." Ps. 92 : 13. What 
are these courts? They are the in- 
ternal and spiritual sabbaths of the 
heart; which, as Lebanon in the des- 
ert, flourish best in a retirement of 
mind, and abstraction of spirit. La- 
bor to attain this solitude of soul, and 
thou shalt become fit to search thine 
own heart, and to contemplate that 
variety of wonders and mercies which 
God has bestowed upon us. 

4. Nor are we to imitate those 
who admire subtle disputes and in- 
ventions, who take pleasure in read- 
ing fine, pleasant, and witty produc- 
tions; which, if rightly considered, 
deprave, rather than improve the 
mind of the reader. Whatever does 
not promote the repose of the heart, 
and the continual renovation of the 
mind, should neither be heard, spoken, 
read, nor even be entertained in 
thought, by a disciple of Jesus. True 
Christians are like the trees of God, 
which should daily grow stronger, 
and take deeper root in Christ. St. 
Paul testifies of himself, that besides 
" Christ and him crucified," he de- 
sired to know nothing. 1 Cor. 2 : 2. 
And this has been the practice of all 
the saints of God, who have endeav- 
ored, to the utmost of their power, by 
carefully cherishing this blessed tran- 
quillity of heart, to approach nearer 
and nearer to a life raised above the 
world, and to emulate those elevated 
minds that entirely rest in God, as the 
centre of all their happiness. One of 
them once said: "As often as I con- 



verse with men, I return less a man 
in some part or other." For since the 
dignity of human nature principally 
consists in the similitude of God, and 
therefore God hath described man to 
be the image and likeness of himself 
(Gen. 1 : 26); it follows, that the more 
unlike any man is to God, the less a 
man he is : and the more closely he 
unites himself to God, the more con- 
formed to Him does he become. None 
can, however, turn himself to God, 
who does not first withdraw himself 
from the world. It is the nature of 
every seed, to bring forth a plant of 
its own kind; so if the seed of God, 
the Holy Spirit and Word, be in thee, 
thou shalt become a "tree of right- 
eousness, The planting of the Lord, 
that he may be glorified." Isa. 61 : 3. 

5. Nothing is more common, than 
that some word or other is dropped 
in the conversation of men, which 
being idle and vain, grievously wounds 
and pollutes the soul. No man, there- 
fore, has more security and peace, 
than he who keeps at home, in the 
house of his heart, and restrains his 
thoughts, his words, and his senses, 
from straying beyond their bounds. 

6. He that will speak well, must 
first learn to be silent; for to talk 
much is not eloquence, but prating. 
He who desires to command well, 
must first learn to obey; since it is 
impossible that he should be a good 
ruler over others, who knows not how 
to be subject and obedient to God. 
He that desires peace and serenity 
of mind, must set a watch over his 
tongue, and maintain a good con- 
science; for an evil conscience is like 
the troubled sea ; yet shall it find rest 
if it return unto Christ in true re- 
pentance. The dove which Noah sent 
out of the ark, not finding any place 
of rest, returned to it. Gen. 8 : 9. 



76 



TKUE CHKISTIASTITY. 



[Book I. 



This ark is Christ and the Church, 
having only one door or window, 
which is that of repentance, through 
which we are to come to Christ. And 
as the dove retired into the ark im- 
mediately when she found no rest for 
her foot; so when thou art floating in 
a sea of worldly affairs, and art in 
danger of suffering shipwreck, retire 
immediately into thy heart to Christ ; 
lest, being too much tossed on the 
floods of the world, thy rest be broken, 
and the tranquillity of thy mind en- 
tirely destroyed. 

7. While thou conversest with men, 
and art engaged in the affairs of this 
world, be careful to manage every- 
thing with fear and humility. Avoid 
all self-confidence and rashness in act- 
ing. Eemember that thou art as a 
tender shoot tied to a prop, in order 
that it may grow up with the more 
safety : so do thou constantly lean on 
the staff of humility, and the fear of 
God, lest a sudden tempest should 
arise, and lay thee level with the 
ground. Alas! how many a man is 
deceived when he, too unadvisedly, 
rushes into worldly affairs. Persuade 
thyself, therefore, that it is as unsafe 
to trust to the world, as to the sea. 
The external joy of the world, though 
for a time it soothe a man in his car- 
nal security, and promise prosperous 
things, yet may soon be disturbed by 
an unexpected tempest, leaving noth- 
ing behind but the sting of an evil 
conscience. 

8. If a man would, on the one hand, 
seek no pleasure in what is frail or 
perishing; and if, on the other, with 
a mind freed from secular joys and 
affairs, he would give himself up to 
those more heavenly concerns that be- 
come a true Christian, he would often 
be visited with a fervent devotion, a 
profound peace, a sweet tranquillity, a 



serene conscience, and other divine 
comforts. But, alas! we will not be 
persuaded of these things; and hence 
it follows, that our conversion, amend- 
ment, and devotion are, by our too 
free conversation with men, rather 
hindered than improved. We may 
find within us, what we easily lose in 
an inconsiderate pursuit of things 
without us. And as a tree nowhere 
prospers better than in its natural 
soil; so the inward man grows no- 
where more happily, than in the in- 
ward ground of the soul, where Christ 
resides. 

9. The conscience of man is pos- 
sessed either with joy or sorrow. If 
the conscience be conversant with 
things internal and heavenly, it will 
refresh us with inward delight and 
comfort ; but if it be polluted with an 
excessive cleaving to worldly con- 
cerns, it will be of necessity attended 
with inward sorrow and perplexity. 
2 Cor. 7 : 10. 

10. As often as the soul is affected 
with hearty remorse for sin, she be- 
wails herself, and sends up secret 
groans to the throne of mercy. This 
penitential exercise is a wholesome 
fountain of tears, in which the soul, 
night after night, cleanses and washes 
herself by the Spirit and by faith, 
through the name of Jesus (1 Cor. 
6 : 11), that so she may be duly pre- 
pared to enter into the inward sanc- 
tuary, and holy of holies, and there 
enjoy a secret intercourse with the 
Lord. 

11. And because the Lord is "a God 
that hideth himself" (Isa. 45 : 15), the 
soul must approach him in a way re- 
mote from the noise of the world, that 
she may the more freely partake of 
his divine communications. Hence 
the Psalmist says : " I will hear what 
God the Lord will speak/' Ps. 85:8, 



Chap. XXIV.] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



77 



And " I sought the Lord, and he 
heard me, and delivered me from all 
my fears. This poor man cried, and the 
Lord heard him, and saved him out of 
all his troubles." Psalm 34 : 4, 6. " Un- 
to thee will I pray : my voice shalt 
thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in 
the morning will I direct my prayer 
unto thee, and will look up." Psalm 
5 : 2, 3. Thus the farther the soul re- 



tires from the world, the more inti- 
mately she converses with God; just 
as the patriarch Jacob conversed most 
familiarly with God and angels when 
he was farthest removed from friends 
and children. Gen. 32 : 24-29. It can- 
not, indeed, be expressed in words, 
how much a soul sequestered from the 
friendship and fellowship of the world, 
is loved by God and by angels. 



CHAPTER XXI Y. 



OP THE LOVE OP GOD AND OUR NEIGHBOR. 



Now the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good 
conscience, and of faith unfeigned. — 1 Tim. 1 : 5. 



IN this verse, the apostle sets before 
us love, the highest and noblest 
virtue ; and acquaints us at the same 
time, with four particulars concerning 
it. First, that Love is the summary 
of all the commandments: for "love*" 
says the apostle, "is the fulfilling of 
the law" (Eom. 13 :10); in which all 
the precepts are comprehended, and 
without which, all gifts and virtues 
are unprofitable and fruitless. 

2. What he says in the second place, 
namely, that Charity must arise from 
a pure heart, relates to the love of 
God, which requires a heart void of 
worldly love and affection, according 
to that saying of St. John : " Love not 
the world, neither the things that are 
in the world. For all that is in the 
world, the lust of the flesh, the lust 
of the eyes, and the pride of life, is 
not of the Father, but is of the world. 
And the world passeth away, and the 
lust thereof; but he that doeth the 
will of God abideth forever." 1 John 
2 : 15-17. Whosoever, therefore, has 



a heart purified from all love to the 
creature, so as to depend or acquiesce 
in no transient good whatsoever, can 
cleave most intimately to God, say- 
ing with David, " Whom have I in 
heaven but thee? and there is none 
upon earth that I desire besides thee. 
My flesh and my heart faileth ; but 
God is the strength of my heart, and 
my portion for ever." Psal. 73 : 25, 26. 
The love of such a one, proceeds out 
of a "pure heart." Of the same char- 
acter also, is that love which is at- 
tended with great delight, pleasure 
and joy in God; of which we have an 
illustration in David : " I will love 
thee, O Lord, my strength. The 
Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and 
my deliverer; my God, my strength, 
in whom I will trust; my buckler, 
and the horn of my salvation, and my 
high tower." Psal. 18 : 1, 2. 

3. The apostle, in the third place, 
teaches us, that love must be " out of 
a good conscience." This properly 
concerns the love of our neighbor, who 



78 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



is to be loved, not for the sake of in- 
terest or worldly advantage (which 
would be a false love out of a bad con- 
science) ; but for the sake of God only, 
and of his commandments. JSTor ought 
we to afflict our neighbor either by 
word or deed, either secretly or open- 
ly; nor on any account, bear envy, 
wrath, hatred, malice or rancor against 
him; that so our conscience may not 
accuse us when we address ourselves 
in prayer to God Almighty. 

4. The fourth requisite of Love is, a 
" faith unfeigned ;" so that nothing be 
done that is contrary to the rule of 
faith, and to our Christian profession, 
and that God be not denied publicly or 
privately, in prosperity or adversity. 
This is the substance of what is con- 
tained in that sentence of the apostle. 
We shall now speak more particularly, 
with respect to each of the several 
parts. 

5. In the first place, then, Love, ac- 
cording to the apostle, " is the end of 
the commandment;" for that love 
which arises from a pure faith, is the 
noblest among the fruits and effects 
of faith ; than which a man can do 
nothing better or more acceptable to 
God. For God does not require at 
our hands great and difficult enter- 
prises, no high performances that ex- 
ceed our capacities; but he has 
changed the yoke of the Old Testa- 
ment service, and its many command- 
ments and ordinances into faith and 
love, and has given us for this end the 
Holy Ghost, who, " shedding abroad 
in our hearts the love of God" (Eom. 
5 : 5), renders everything sweet and 
easy, and proves the original spring of 
this heavenly virtue. 

6. Love, therefore, is not a hard 
work, a labor attended with toil and 
difficulty; on the contrary, it makes 
everything easy to a good man. " His 



commandments are not grievous" (1 
John 5 : 3), that is to say, they are not 
so to an enlightened Christian; for 
wherever the Spirit of God comes, he 
creates a free, willing and ready heart 
in the discharge of Christian virtues. 
Nor does God require of his children 
great skill or learning : it is only love 
which he regards. If this be sincere 
and fervent, free from disguise and 
dissimulation, God takes more pleas- 
ure and delight in it, than in all the 
knowledge and wisdom, in all the art 
and talent that any man upon earth, 
in his best works, can possibly ex- 
hibit. Wherever this divine love is 
wanting, there all wisdom and knowl- 
edge, all works and gifts, are alto- 
gether unprofitable. They are ac- 
counted vain and dead, as a mere 
body without life. 1 Cor. 13 : 1, 2. 

7. As for human learning and great 
abilities, they are common to heathens 
as well as to Christians ; and great 
actions are performed as well by infi- 
dels as by believers. It is love only 
which proves the sure test of a sound 
Christian, distinguishing between the 
false and the true. For wherever 
Charity is wanting, there can be no 
good thing, however it may claim the 
admiration of men by its specious ap- 
pearances. The reason is, because God 
is not there ; for " God is love, and he 
that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, 
and God in him." 1 John 4 : 16. 

8. Love is also pleasant, not only to 
God who gives it, but also to man, who 
exercises it : whereas, all arts and sci- 
ences, all the knowledge and wisdom 
which man grasps, are not attained 
but with great labor and study, with 
much care and application, and even 
at the expense of bodily health. But 
this heaven-born love cheers both the 
body and the mind. It invigorates 
the spirits, confers new strength, and 



Chap. XXIY.] 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



79 



wonderfully improves and exalts the 
mind. Nor is it attended with any 
loss whatever, but on the contrary, 
produces many good and noble effects 
in the soul. Love is itself the reward 
of the lover, and virtue always carries 
its own recompense with it : as, on 
the contrary, the vicious man is pun- 
ished by his own excesses, and vice is 
the constant tormentor of him that 
commits it. 

9. Again, when the other faculties 
of the body and mind are faint and 
wearied, love faints not. Love is 
never weary, never ceases. Prophecy 
may pass away, tongues may cease, 
and sciences may be destroyed ; arts 
may be lost, the knowledge of mys- 
teries may vanish ; yea, faith itself at 
last may fail also: but yet "love 
never faileth," nor can fail : for when 
all that is imperfect is happily re- 
moved, then love alone abides forever, 
and attains its full perfection. 1 Cor. 
13 : 8. 

10. To render anything pleasing to 
Almighty God, it is necessary that it 
proceed from him ; since he approves 
of nothing but what he himself works 
in us. Now, G-od is love; it therefore 
follows, that all that we do, ought to 
proceed from a divine faith, in order 
that it may be pleasing to God ; and 
from pure love, that it may prove 
profitable to men. This love must be 
pure, without any regard to self-honor, 
self-interest, and those mean designs 
which sometimes intrude into a Chris- 
tian's actions. In like manner our 
prayers should spring from a principle 
of love, that they may have the more 
ready admittance to the God of love. 
Consider, therefore, how that man's 
prayer can be acceptable to God, who 
is full of wrath and rancor, hatred 
and malice ? Were such a one to re- 
peat the whole Psalter every day, it 



would be but an abomination before 
the Lord. True worship consists in 
spirit (John 4 : 23, 24), in faith, in 
love, not in a long recital of words. 
Remember the example of Christ, 
who, from a merciful heart, cried, 
"Father, forgive them." Luke 33 : 34. 
A man that does not love God, is also 
unwilling to pour out his heart in 
prayer and supplication : but to him 
who is affected with a sense of divine 
love, the duty of prayer is easy and 
delightful. A man that has a cordial 
love to God, readily serves him ; but 
he that is void of this love, does not 
serve him at all, though he may sub- 
mit to much toil and drudgery, and 
even heap one mountain upon an- 
other. 

11. Upon the whole, then, nothing 
is more agreeable to human nature, 
nothing better and more profitable, 
than this divine love, which, therefore, 
should be stirred up in the heart of 
man, and when once raised into a flame, 
should be carefully preserved from 
being ever quenched. 

12. Faith should work all things in 
a Christian through love; and love 
should be the agent of faith, as the 
body is the agent of the soul. The 
soul sees and hears, speaks and acts, 
through the body, to which she is 
united; so, O man! should the love of 
God, springing from faith, do all things 
in and through thee. Whether thou 
eat or drink, hear or speak, commend 
or reprove, let all be done in love, after 
the example of Christ, in whom re- 
sided nothing but pure love. If thou 
beholdest thy neighbor, behold him 
with the eyes of a compassionate 
friend; if thou hearest him, hear him 
with love and tenderness; and if thou 
speakest with him, let thy speech be 
seasoned with love and Christian af- 
fection. 



80 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



13. Carefully preserve the root of 
Christian love by faith, in order that 
nothing but that which is good may 
grow up in thy heart, and issue thence, 
as from its genuine centre. 1 Cor. 16 : 
14. Thou shalt then be enabled to 
fulfil the commandments of God; since 
they are all comprehended in love. 
Hence, a holy man has expressed him- 
self after this manner: " O love of God 
in the Holy Ghost ! thou art the high- 
est joy of souls, and the only divine 
life of men. Whosoever enjoys not 
thee, is dead even while he lives; and 
whosoever possesses thee, never dies 
in the sight of God. Where thou art 
not, there the life of men is a continual 
death ; but where thou art, there life 
is made a foretaste of eternal happi- 
ness." Whence it appears that this 
divine love is the sum and fulfilling 
of all the commandments of God. 

14. We consider now, in the second 
place, that our love to God ought to 
proceed " out of a pure heart/' The 
heart of a man who is desirous to love 
God, ought first to be cleansed from 
all worldly love and attachment to the 
creature. It is then that God becomes 
the chief and sovereign Good to the 
soul. She can then say, " The Lord 
is the portion of mine inheritance, and 
of my cup: thou maintainest my lot." 
Ps. 16 : 5. " The Lord knoweth the 
days of the upright," that is, those that 
love him out of a disinterested heart; 
"and their inheritance shall be for- 
ever." Ps. 37 : 18. " Delight thyself 
in the Lord, and he shall give thee 
the desires of thine heart." Ps. 37 : 4. 
In a word, God is the only fountain 
whence all our joy ought constantly 
to spring. 

15. God, therefore, should be the 
most beloved object of our souls, and 
our hearts should rest in him alone, 
because he is the highest good. He is 



nothing else than mercy and goodness, 
love and kindness, clemency and pa- 
tience, truth, comfort, peace, joy, life, 
and happiness. All this he has laid 
up in Jesus Christ. Whoever, there- 
fore, has Christ, is thereby put into 
the possession of all these heavenly 
virtues. And whoever loves God, must 
also of necessity love God's truth and 
mercy, his goodness and kindness, and 
the whole train of divine virtues. 

16. For, a true lover of God has a love 
to all that God loves, and an aversion 
to all that God hates. If any man 
loves God, he must love truth, mercy, 
and righteousness, because God is all 
this himself. He must also delight in 
humility and meekness, since thereby 
he is rendered conformable to that 
meekness and lowly-mi ndedness which 
resided in Jesus. On the other hand, 
a true lover of God cannot but abhor 
all ungodliness, with all the works of 
iniquity; because all manner of im- 
piety is enmity against God, and is the 
work of the devil himself. A lover 
of God hates a lie, because the devil 
is the father of lies, and was a liar 
from the beginning. And this is the 
reason that every one who loves lies, 
injustice, and other vicious workings 
of nature, must needs, in that sense, 
be the offspring of the devil (see 
John 8 : 44) ; and again, whoever loves 
Christ, his Lord and Saviour, loves also 
the example of his pure and holy life, 
his humility and meekness, his pa- 
tience, and the other heavenly vir- 
tues that appeared in his conduct. 
And such a one must of necessity be 
adopted into the number of the chil- 
dren of God. 

17. This love, proceeding out of a 
"pure heart," must be obtained from 
God by prayer and supplication. And 
truly, God is willing to enkindle in us 
this heavenly flame through the love 



Chap. XXIV.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



81 



of Christ, if he be but earnestly so- 
licited, and if the heart be every day 
and every moment laid open to his 
divine influence. If thy love should 
grow cold and weak at any time, 
arouse thy heart, faint not, but stir 
up the grace of God within thee, and 
be not too much discouraged at it. In 
the name of God arise again, set to 
work, and renew the acts of thy first 
love. As thou art sensible of thy 
coldness in love, thou mayest be as- 
sured from that circumstance, that the 
eternal light of divine love is not 
wholly extinguished, although it be 
eclipsed, and at present give but little 
heat. Doubt not that thy Saviour will 
enlighten thee again, and fire thy 
heart with his love ; so that thou may- 
est sit once more under his shadow, 
and rejoice in the light of his counte- 
nance. At the same time be earnest 
in prayer and supplications, lest here- 
after the flame of this heavenly love 
should be again deadened in thy 
heart. Such is love " out of a pure 
heart," unmixed with love of the 
world. 

18. Let us now consider, in the third 
place, Love, as arising from a "good 
conscience," and as it respects our 
neighbor. The love of God and the 
love of our neighbor are so closely 
united, that they can never be sepa- 
rated. The true touchstone of our 
love to God, is the love which we 
bear to our neighbor. " If a man say, 
I love God, and hateth his brother, he 
is a liar : for he that loveth not his 
brother whom he hath seen, how can 
he love God whom he hath not seen ? 
And this commandment have we from 
him, That he who loveth God, love 
his brother also." 1 John 4:20, 21. 
For the love of God cannot dwell in a 
man who is filled with hatred or mal- 
ice, or divested of all bowels of love 



and compassion. If thou hast no pity 
on thy brother, who stands in need of 
thy help, how canst thou love God, 
who needs not anything that is thine, 
and has commanded thee to express 
thy love towards him, by bestowing 
marks of it upon thy brother ? 

19. As faith unites to God, so love 
unites to our neighbor; and as a man 
is made up of body and soul, so faith 
and love (that is, the love both of God 
and of our neighbor) make up a true 
Christian. Thus he that " dwelleth 
in love, dwelleth in God." 1 John 4:16. 
And since God effectually desires the 
good of all men, it follows, that he who 
loves in like manner is of one heart 
with God ; and that he who is other- 
wise affected is against God, and has 
not the mind of the Lord, but is the 
enemy of God as well as of his neigh- 
bor. He is, unquestionably, an adver- 
sary to God who is an enemy to 
men. 

20. It is the property of this love to 
bewail and compassionate the infirm- 
ities of others. Gal. 6: 1. Indeed, the 
failings and weaknesses of our fellow- 
creatures represent to us, as in a mir- 
ror, our own imperfections, and re- 
mind us of the various defects that en- 
cumber our nature. Therefore, when 
thou seest another overtaken in a fault, 
consider that thou also thyself art but a 
man; and learn from thy own infirm- 
ities, to bear those of others with pa- 
tience, meekness, and humility. Eom. 
15:7. 

21. Such especially as sin, not from 
malice or determined wickedness, but 
who are surprised into a fault by weak- 
ness and inadvertency; and who, com- 
ing soon to themselves again, repent 
of that which they have done, and 
firmly resolve to watch the more 
against the snares of Satan for the 
future; such souls as- these are surely; 



§2 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



to be pitied and assisted. He that does 
otherwise, shows that he has nothing 
in him of the merciful and forbearing 
spirit of Christ. When a man hastily 
condemns the faults of his neighbor, 
without feeling any love or compas- 
sion, it is an evident sign that he is 
altogether void of God, and of his mer- 
ciful spirit. On the contrary, a true 
Christian, being anointed with the 
spirit of Christ, treats all men as one 
that has a fellow-feeling with them, 
and bears with them in a sympathiz- 
ing Christian love and tenderness, ac- 
cording to the example of Christ, which 
he has left us to follow. Therefore, if 
any man, upon serious search into his 
inward condition, finds that he has not 
the love of his neighbor abiding in him, 
let him know, assuredly, that the love 
of God remains not in his soul, and 
that he himself is without God. This 
should strike him with horror and in- 
dignation against himself; it should 
influence him the more speedily (after 
repenting of his sin from the bottom 
of his heart) to reconcile himself to 
his neighbor, that, in this order, the 
love of God may also return to him 
again. Then all his actions, while he 
continues in this love and faith, are 
good, holy, and divine ; and this love, 
dwelling in his heart, will actuate him 
freely and willingly to embrace all 
men, and with great affection and joy 
to do them all manner of kindnesses; 
so that he will "rejoice over them to 
do them good," even as God himself. 
Jer. 32:41. 

22. Without this love, whatever is 
in man, is diabolical and altogether 
evil. Nor is there, indeed, any other 
cause why the devil can do no good, 
but because he is utterly destitute of 
love both towards God and man. 
Hence, all which he does is radically 
evil, and deprived of all intrinsic good- 



ness. In all that he sets about, he 
designs nothing but God's dishonor, 
and man's destruction. He cunningly 
contrives ways to vent his enmity both 
upon God and man; and, therefore, he 
seeks for such hearts as he can fill 
with spite and envy, and then dis- 
charges through them his malice and 
wrath. "And hereby it is manifest 
who are the children of God, and the 
children of the devil." 1 John 3 : 10. 

23. Lastly, Love must be "out of 
faith unfeigned," that is, we must love 
God equally in prosperity and ad- 
versity. Whoever loves God sincerely, 
accepts with joy all the dispensations 
of his Providence, after the example 
of Christ; who, with a cheerful and 
ready mind, took up the cross, which 
he knew that the will of his Father 
imposed on him. " I have," says he, 
"a baptism to be baptized with; and 
how am I straitened (and in pain) till 
it be accomplished!" Luke 12 : 50. In 
the same manner have all the holy 
martyrs carried with joy their cross 
after him. 

24. To those that unfeignedly love 
God, the cross, which Christ enjoins 
us to bear, does not prove grievous or 
burdensome; and this for no other 
reason, than because it is the yoke of 
Christ. Matt. 11 : 29. If the magnet 
attracts the heavy iron, why should 
not that heavenly loadstone, the love 
of God, attract the burden of our 
cross, and render it light and agreea- 
ble; especially after the heart is af- 
fected with a touch of the divine 
love? If the sugar sweeten such herbs 
as are bitter by nature, why should 
not the sweetness of the love of God 
make that pleasant and easy, which 
to the flesh is nothing but a cross and 
affliction? And truly it was from the 
fulness of this love, that the blessed 
martyrs bore the most exquisite pain 



Chap. XXV.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



83 



with patience and joy; being trans- 
ported with it to such a degree, as to 



be almost insensible of their very tor- 
ments. 



CHAPTER XXV. 



THE LOVE OF OUR NEIGHBOR, MORE PARTICULARLY CONSIDERED. 



Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. — 2 Peter 2 : 19. 



THEKE is do bondage more hard 
and grievous, than to be under 
the yoke of the passions : but of all 
these, none is so cruel as hatred, which 
so weakens and depresses all the pow- 
ers both of body and mind, as not to 
leave to the man one free thought. On 
the contrary, he who lives in love is 
free. He is no slave to anger, envy, 
covetousness, pride, lying, or calumny ; 
and being delivered from these by love, 
he suffers not himself to be subdued 
by evil desires, but continues Christ's 
freeman (1 Cor. 7 : 22) in the liberty 
of the Spirit: for "where the Spirit 
of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 
Cor. 3 : 17. Whosoever, therefore, 
walks in the love of Christ, is no 
longer a slave to sin, or a servant to 
carnal affections; for the Spirit of 
God's love has freed and purified him 
from carnal concupiscence. And we 
see that the love of G-od extends over 
all men; of which we not only find 
sufficient proofs in Scripture, but the 
footsteps of his universal benignity 
are also everywhere displayed in na- 
ture. We are all equally covered with 
the heavens, and have all the use of 
the sun, the air, the earth, and the 
water; as well they who are of high 
degree, as they who are of the mean- 
est condition. And the very same 
mind that is in God towards us, ought 
also to be in us towards men; God 



himself having set us a pattern of 
universal kindness for our imitation. 
He regards not one more than an- 
other, but loves all with an equal af- 
fection. With him there is no respect 
of persons, of dignity, or merit; but 
he beholds all alike in Christ. This is 
for our instruction. Now, as God acts 
towards us, so ought we to act to- 
wards our neighbor. And truly, after 
the same manner as we deal with man, 
so God will deal with us again. We 
need not go far to inquire what favor 
we have with God Almighty. If we 
but enter into our own conscience, it 
will impartially tell us, what mind 
and affection we bear to our neigh- 
bor; and as we have done to him, so 
will God certainly do to us again, and 
return our works into our own bosom. 
And in this sense it is said of God, 
that "with the pure he shews himself 
pure; and with the froward, shews 
himself froward" (Ps. 18 : 26); that 
is, if thou bearest an evil mind to thy 
neighbor, God will be thine adversary 
also. 

2. Since, therefore, God has no need 
of our service, he has substituted our 
neighbor in his place, to receive our 
charity, and has commanded us to pay 
it as to himself. He has made this 
love of our neighbor the very touch- 
stone by which we are to examine the 
sincerity of our love to God. 



84 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



3. And it is for this reason that he 
has enjoined the love of our neighbor 
with so great earnestness, requiring 
us to show constantly the same love 
to him which God shows to us. For 
unless a man be fully reconciled to, 
and be in perfect charity with his 
neighbor, he cannot have the favor or 
grace of God. And although all the 
sins of the world are atoned for by 
the death of Christ, and a full pardon 
obtained, yet all mankind may in some 
sense be said to be in the same cir- 
cumstances with the servant in the 
parable, who had not wherewithal to 
pay; the king freely remitted him all 
his debts : but when he afterwards 
behaved himself cruelly towards his 
fellow-servant, the king revoked his 
pardon; and condemned the servant, 
on account of the hard usage with 
which he treated his neighbor. Matt. 
18 : 23, etc. This parable Christ con- 
cludes with the remarkable expres- 
sion : "So likewise shall my heavenly 
Father do also unto you, if ye from 
your hearts forgive not every one his 
brother, their trespasses." Yerse 35. 
And, " With the same measure that 
ye mete withal, it shall be measured 
to you again." Luke 6 : 38. 

4. Hence, it plainly appears, that 
man was not created for himself alone, 
but for his neighbor's sake also. So 
strict is the commandment of loving 
our neighbor, that when it is broken, 
the very end of our creation is de- 
stroyed, and the love of God is im- 
mediately withdrawn from the soul. 
Nothing is left but the severest justice, 
judging and condemning all that are 
void of this charity. 

5. If we duly considered these 
things, we should never be angry 
with one another; neither would "the 
sun ever go down upon our wrath." 
Eph. 4 : 26. It is true, on the one 



hand, that Christ by his death on the 
. cross has offered a full and complete 
atonement for all our trespasses, and 
in this respect, has remitted all our 
sins at once ; yet is it, on the other 
hand, an awful consideration, that the 
whole extent of the merits of Christ 
will be of no avail at all to us, if we 
continue to hate our brother, and will 
neither pardon nor love him. We shall 
be entirely cut oif from all the bene- 
fits that flow from the atonement. 

6. Hence it appears how important 
the love of our neighbor must be in 
the sight of God, binding us even to 
such a degree, that God refuses to be 
loved by us, unless we love our neigh- 
bor also ; so that if we fail in our be- 
nevolence toward the latter, we fall 
at the same time from grace and di- 
vine charity. And for this reason, we 
were created all equal and of the 
same nature, that we might not de- 
spise one other; but, like children of 
one common parent, live in peace and 
love, and endeavor to maintain a good 
and serene conscience. 

7. Now, whoever hates and despises 
his brother, hates and despises God 
also, who has forbidden all such ani- 
mosities in the severest terms. If 
thou contemnest thy brother, God 
also contemns thee; which hastens 
thy judgment and condemnation, and 
deprives thee of all interest in the 
merit and redemption of Christ, by 
which sin is forgiven. 

8. For it cannot be possible that a 
heart filled with wrath and bitterness, 
should in any degree reap a saving 
fruit from the blood of Christ, which 
was shed from a motive of pure love. 
Yea, the above parable (Matt. 18 : 35) 
plainly convinces us, that God was 
less offended at the debt of ten thou- 
sand talents, than at the barbarous 
cruelty of which the servant was 



Chap. XXVI.] 



TBUE CHEISTIANITY. 



85 



guilty; he can overlook the debt, but with which the Lord concludes the 



he cannot overlook the want of love. 
Let us, therefore, ponder the words 



parable : " So likewise shall my heav- 
enly Father do also unto you." 



CHAPTER XXYI. 



WHEREFORE OUR NEIGHBOR IS TO BE LOVED. 



Owe no man any thing, but to love one another ; for he that loveth another hath 
fulfilled the law.— Horn. 13:8. 



" TTTHEEEWITH shall I come 
YV before the Lord? Shall I 
come before him with burnt-offerings, 
with calves of a year old? Will the 
Lord be pleased with thousands of 
rams, or with ten thousands of rivers 
of oil ? Shall I give my first-born for 
my transgression, the fruit of my 
body for the sin of my soul ? — He 
hath shewed thee, O man, what is 
good; and what doth the Lord require 
of thee, but to do justly, and to love 
mercy, and to walk humbly with thy 
God." Micah 6 : 6-8. 

2. By this question, and the answer 
to it, the prophet teaches us, wherein 
the true worship of God properly con- 
sists ; not in ceremonies and sacrifices, 
since we are notable to give anything 
to God, because all is his own already; 
not in offering up human sacrifices, 
which he does not require at our 
hands, but detests and abhors, because 
they are injurious to Jesus Christ, the 
great propitiatory oblation which God 
appointed to takeaway the sins of the 
world (John 1 : 29) : but the true wor- 
ship of God consists in pure faith, 
which, from the visible effect of it, 
the prophet here describes, by " doing 
justly," that is by the exercise of faith 
in righteousness, in charity and mercy, 



(which is more pleasing than all sac- 
rifices); and in true humility and 
contrition, as it is said : " The sacri- 
fices of God are a broken spirit: a 
broken and a contrite heart, O God, 
thou wilt not despise." Ps. 51 : 17. 

3. To this divine worship, founded 
within the heart, and proceeding from 
faith, love, and humility, St. Paul pow- 
erfully exhorts us in Eom. 13 : 8-10. 
His admonition contains in it both 
the praise of Christian love, and the 
perpetual duty in which we stand en- 
gaged to our neighbor, and without 
which it is impossible to serve God 
aright. For truly there is no other 
way of serving God, except by that 
which he himself works in our hearts: 
so that to serve God, is nothing else 
but to serve our neighbor, and to do 
him all the offices of Christian love 
and humanity which we are able to 
perform. 

4. The apostle calls love a summary 
of all virtues, and the " fulfilling of 
the law." Eom. 13 : 10. Not that we 
are able by any acts of charity, to ful- 
fil perfectly the divine law, or that 
consequently we can merit eternal life 
thereby; (which cannot possibly be, 
except our love were complete in 
every respect, and arrived to a con- 



86 



TEÜE CHEISTIAJSTITY. 



[Book I. 



eumraate perfection) : but the apostle 
desires to suggest thereby the won- 
derful excellency of this virtue, and to 
incline us, at the same time, to an un- 
feigned love. As to our righteousness, 
it is not grounded on any work of 
ours, but only on the merits of Christ 
applied to us by faith. 

5. From this righteousness of Christ, 
apprehended by faith, springs love to 
our neighbor, together with the whole 
train of Christian virtues, called by 
the apostle "fruits of righteousness, 
which are to the glory and praise of 
God." Phil. 1 : 11. But since the dig- 
nity of this virtue is so very eminent, 
it will be proper to set forth further 
motives by which the practice of it 
may be endeared to us. 

6. The first and strongest of all mo- 
tives, is that which St. John uses: 
"God is love; and he that dwelleth in 
love, dwelleth in God, and God in 
him" (1 John 4 : 16). For who would 
not wish to be in God, and to remain 
in Him ; and that God should be and 
remain in him ? And who, on the con- 
trary, would not abhor to be in Satan, 
and to have Satan dwelling in him ? 
And yet this is the ordinary conse- 
quence, as often as charity is repulsed, 
and unnatural animosities are admitted 
into the heart. For as God is a lover 
of men, ready to save them from eter- 
nal destruction, so the devil is a hater 
of men. This is further explained by 
St. John : "He that loveth, is born of 
God, and knoweth God." 1 John 4 : 7. 
And again : " In this the children of 
God are manifest, and the children 
of the devil : whosoever doeth not 
righteousness is not of God, neither 
he that loveth not his brother." 1 John 
3 : 10. Now, can there be anything 
more desirable than to be ranked 
among the children of God, to be be- 
gotten of God, and to know God truly 



and experimentally ? But whoever has 
his heart void of this love, and has 
never felt its force and energy, nor 
tasted its goodness and gentleness, 
long suffering and patience, this man 
knows not God, who is pure love. 
For the knowledge of God must pro- 
ceed from enjoyment and experience. 
And how is it possible that a man 
should know Christ, whilst he is a 
stranger to love, and to that loving 
intercourse which subsists betwixt 
Christ and the soul? Hence it fol- 
lows, that he that is without love, is 
without Christ also. But he who is 
earnest in the exercise of love, shall 
not be left barren in the knowledge of 
the Lord Jesus Christ : "For if these 
things be in you, and abound, they 
make you that ye shall neither be 
barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge 
of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Pet. 1 : 8. 
7. The second motive is found in 
what our Lord himself says: "By 
this shall all men know that ye are 
my disciples, if ye have love one to 
another." John 13 :35. Now, in order 
to be a disciple of Christ, it is not 
enough to be a Christian in name, or 
by a mere verbal profession ; but to be 
a disciple of Christ implies much more. 
Such a one must believe in his name ; 
must love him, imitate him, live in 
him. He must, in a peculiar manner, 
adhere to him ; must feel the love of 
Christ infused into his soul, and freely 
partake of all the gifts and benefits 
purchased by him. Whoever has not 
this love of Christ abiding in him, is 
not Christ's disciple, nor can he pre- 
tend to have any share in his merits. 
For how is it possible that Christ 
should know a man who has neither 
faith in, nor any love to him? As a 
flower is known by its fragrance, and 
fruit by its flavor, so a true disciple of 
Christ is known by his love. 



Chap. XXVI.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



87 



8. Hence, St. Paul does not hesitate 
to affirm, that " all gifts without char- 
ity are nothing" (1 Cor. 13: 2); which 
is a third motive why we should de- 
sire this excellent gift. In truth, nei- 
ther the knowledge of divers tongues, 
nor the gift of miracles, nor the un- 
derstanding of high and sublime mys- 
teries, nor any extraordinary endow- 
ments, are sufficient marks by which 
to know a Christian; this preroga- 
tive being entirely reserved to " faith, 
which worketh by love." Gal. 5 : 6. 
Nor does God require any hard things 
at our hand (such as the working of 
miracles), but to exercise love and hu- 
mility; virtues that may be appre- 
hended by the meanest capacity. Nor 
will it be demanded of thee in the day 
of judgment, whether thou hast been 
versed in arts, tongues, and sciences, 
or what great parts thou hast pos- 
sessed in this world; but whether thou 
hast exercised thyself in faith and love. 
"I was a hungered," saith our Sav- 
iour, " and ye gave me meat, etc." Matt. 
25 : 35, etc. And St. Paul says to the 
Galatians: "In Christ Jesus neither 
circumcision availeth anything, nor 
uncircumcision (no gifts, no parts, no 
endowments, no respect of persons) ; 
but faith which worketh by love." 
Gal. 5 : 6. 

9. Add to these, as a fourth motive, 
that passage of St. John : "If a man 
say, I love God, and hateth his brother, 
he is a liar: for he that loveth not his 
brother whom he hath seen, how can 
he love God whom he hath not seen ? 
And this commandment have we from 
him, That he who loveth God, love his 
brother also." 1 John 4 : 20, 21. This 
all the inspired writers teach, that love 
towards God cannot possibly exist in 
the soul without love to our neighbor. 
For he that hates his neighbor must 
be an enemy to God; because God is a 



lover of men, and requires us to be of 
the same mind. 

10. A fifth motive is, that love is the 
great law of nature, and attended with 
many things beneficial to mankind, 
without which we would not be able 
to live. When any good thing hap- 
pens to man, it certainly proceeds 
from divine love. Hence, St. Paul 
calls love, the "bond of perfectness" 
(Col. 3 : 14) ; and describes, in Bom. 
12 : 9, 10, the excellent fruits that 
grow upon this stock. And our Sa- 
viour himself teaches to the same ef- 
fect: "All things whatsoever ye would 
that men should do to you, do ye even 
so to them: for this is the law and the 
prophets/' Matt. 7 : 12. And this is 
so universal a truth, that the heathens 
themselves were, by the very law of 
nature written in their hearts, con- 
vinced of it. Hence they said: "That 
which you would not should be done 
to yourself, do not the same to an- 
other." This excellent sentence, the 
Emperor Severus, a prince adorned 
with many virtues, had daily in his 
mouth, and enacted it into a law for 
the good of the country. 

11. A sixth motive is, that love is a 
beautiful image and a foretaste of 
eternal life ; when the saints shall 
love each other sincerely; when they 
shall delight in one another, and con- 
verse together with wonderful and 
ineffable concord, in an inexpressible 
sweetness, in unfeigned affection, 
cheerfulness, and joy. Whoever,, 
therefore, would conceive to himself 
an image of that marvellous love and. 
harmony, and obtain some foretaste' 
of the exquisite pleasures of the eter- 
nal beatitude, let him study this love,, 
in which he will find a singular pleas- 
ure, with much peace and tranquillity 
of mind. 

12. The more pure and fervent our- 



88 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



charity is, the nearer it approaches to 
the divine nature. This is a seventh 
motive. In God, in Christ, and in the 
Holy Ghost, there resides the most 
pure, fervent, and transcendent love. 
It is then that our love becomes pure, 
when we love one another, not for the 
sake of private interest, but for the 
sake of the love of God. which is the 
great and unerring pattern which we 
ought carefully to follow. For God 
loves us with a disinterested love: but 
if any man loves his neighbor for his 
own private profit and interest, his 
love is not pure at all, nor does it, in 
any degree, come up to that sublime 
example which is set us by God Al- 
mighty. This makes also the differ- 
ence betwixt heathen and Christian 
charity. A Christian loves his neigh- 
bor in God and in Christ, disinterest- 
edly and generously, without debasing 
himself by any ignoble or selfish 
design. Thus is his love preserved 
pure and sincere, free from dissimula- 
tion, falsehood, and any counterfeit. 
Whereas the heathens polluted their 
deeds with self-honor and interest, 
and other sinister ends, which mingled 
with the best of their actions. This 
Christian love, when it becomes a 
habit in the mind, produces a true 
fervency of spirit, to perform still 
greater acts of love and benignity. 
And it is then that love is truly fer- 
vent, when it inspires the lover with 
great mercy and tenderness towards 
his fellow-creatures, and prompts to 
vigorous efforts to relieve their neces- 
sity. When he has the affairs of his 
neighbor as much at heart as his own, 
then he is ready even to "lay down 
his very life for the brethren " (1 John 
3 : 16), if need be, or, after the exam- 
ple of Moses and Paul, to be "ac- 
cursed" for the brethren, and to be 
"blotted out of the book of God," if 



this possibly could be done. Exod. 
32:32; Eom. 9:3. 

13. Hence it follows (which is the 
eighth motive), that we ought also to 
love our enemies, according to the 
Lord's precept: "Love your enemies, 
bless them that curse you, do good to 
them that hate you, and pray for 
them which despitefully use you and 
persecute you; that ye may be the 
children of your Father which is in 
heaven. For if ye love them which 
love you, what reward have ye? do 
not the publicans the same ?" Matt. 
5:44; Luke 6 : 32, etc. Herein con- 
sist the excellency and prerogative of 
a true Christian; namely, to subject 
nature to this divine principle, to tame 
flesh and blood, and to overcome the 
world, and the evil therein with good- 
ness. Eom. 12:21. "If thine enemy 
hunger, feed him." Kom. 12: 20. It is 
not enough for a Christian not to hurt 
his neighbor or enemy; but he is 
commanded to do him good, and to 
support him with such aids, as are 
convenient for him (Exod. 23 : 4, etc.); 
whoever refuses to comply with these 
terms, cannot be a child of God, or a 
disciple of Christ. 

14. The ninth motive is, that who- 
ever does not practise Christian love 
and charity, separates himself from 
the spiritual body of Christ, that is, 
the Church ; and forfeits all the privi- 
leges of this body, and even the mer- 
its of Christ; there being but "one 
Lord, one faith, one baptism." Eph. 
4 : 5. For as the members when cut 
off from the body, no longer partake 
of the life and power of the head, but 
are dead; so those that do not live in 
the practice of love and charity, are 
separate from Christ, the sole Head 
of the Church, and can receive no 
power and vital influence out of his 
fulness. Therefore, St. John says, 



Chap. XXVII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



89 



"He that loveth not his brother, 
abideth in death." 1 John 3 : 14. 

15. Lastly, we ought to love one 
another, because on the wiDgs of this 
love the prayer of a Christian ascends 
to heaven. By prayer, all good gifts 
are to be obtained; and without 
prayer, all helps and consolations are 
expected in vain. But then our prayer 
must spring from the evangelical prin- 
ciple of love; since God gives ear to 
no prayers, but to those that are 
grounded on faith and Christian char- 
ity : "If two of you agree on earth, 



as touching anything that they shall 
ask, it shall be done for them of my 
Father which is in heaven." Matt. 
18 : 19. 

16. Come then, O man ! let this 
sweet agreement and harmony be es- 
tablished among us upon earth. Let 
us live in the spirit of love, that peace 
and union may dwell among us; for 
where peace is, there is the God of 
peace (2 Cor. 13:11; Eom. 15:33); 
and where He is, there "he hath also 
commanded his blessing and life for 
evermore." Ps. 133 : 3. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 



WHEREFORE OUR ENEMIES ARE TO BE LOVED. 



Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them 
which despitefully use you and persecute you ; that ye may be the children of your Father 
which is in heaven. — Matt. 5 : 44, 45. 



THE first cause why enemies ought 
to be loved, is the express com- 
mandment of God by his Son ; for 
which he gives this reason, "that we 
may be the children of our Father in 
heaven," that is, "of him that loved 
us when we were yet his enemies." 
Eom. 5 : 10. As if he had said, "Un- 
less you love your enemies, you can- 
not be the children of the heavenly 
Father : and he that is not God's son, 
what father shall he have?" This 
commandment of the Lord is little 
practised ; alas ! how backward we 
are in bringing forth such fruits as 
become the children of God ! If we 
be his children, truly we ought to 
study the great lesson of loving our 
enemies, that so, in some degree, we 
may express the character of our 
Father in heaven. 



2. The Scripture says, " He that 
loveth not his brother, abideth in 
death." 1 John 3 : 14. And why does 
he abide in death ? Because he has 
not yet received that vital principle 
which is to be derived from Christ. 
The spiritual and heavenly life con- 
sists in faith towards God, and in love 
to our neighbor. Thus, St. John says, 
"We know that we have passed from 
death unto life, because we love the 
brethren." 1 John 3 : 14. Whence it 
is manifest, that love is an undoubted 
sign and effect of spiritual life or res- 
toration to life in Christ; as hatred 
to men is an infallible proof of spirit- 
ual death and separation from God. 

,And this spiritual death here, will end 
in eternal death hereafter; of which 
our Lord faithfully warns us. 

3. Whoever, therefore, suffers his 



90 



TKUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



heart to be filled with wrath and bit- 
terness against his neighbor, ought to 
know assuredly, that even his best 
performances, his prayer and attend- 
ance on divine worship, and other 
works of that nature, are altogether 
vain, and of no account before G-od. 
St. Paul says, " Though I bestow all 
my goods to feed the poor, and though 
I give my body to be burned, and have 
not charity, it profiteth me nothing." 

1 Cor. 13 : 3. 

4. It is, on the other hand, the 
property of a noble and divine mind, 
to pardon injuries. Behold how long- 
suffering God is, and how easily he is 
reconciled. Ps. 103 : 8. Consider the 
example of Christ, the Son of God, 
who, in the midst of his exquisite tor- 
ments, like a patient lamb, did not so 
much as " open his mouth." Isa. 53 : 7. 
Contemplate the nature of the divine 
Spirit, who appeared in the form of a 
dove (Matt. 3 : 16), with a view that 
by such a representation he might 
teach us a dove-like meekness of mind, 
and recommend to us that tender sim- 
plicity of manners, which becomes a 
true Christian. With what patience 
did Moses bear the reproaches of the 
people, thus deserving to be called 
"very meek, above all the men which 
were upon the face of the earth." 
Numb. 12 : 3. Eemember also the con- 
duct of David, and with what lenity 
of mind he heard the curses of Shimei. 

2 Sam. 16 : 10. 

5. True love teaches us to be angry 
with none but ourselves. True peace 
consists not in having much wealth, 
but in bearing patiently whatever goes 
against our nature. Should a madman 
rail at the sun, and curse it for being 
nothing but darkness, the sun would 
never be darkened by his reproachful 
language, but continue his course, and 
enlighten the world as before. So do 



thou also, and remember that there is 
no sweeter or better revenge than to 
forgive. Such wise and excellent rules 
were practised by many of the heathens 
themselves. Pericles, the Grecian or- 
ator, having patiently heard a man re- 
vile him for the space of a whole day, 
when night came on, kindly invited 
him to his house, and entertained him 
in a friendly manner, saying, "It is 
easier to speak evil of virtue than to 
possess it." Thus Phocion, general of 
the Athenians, when he had deserved 
well of his country, but through envy 
was adjudged to death, and was now 
about to undergo the sentence, being 
asked if he had any commands for his 
son, generously made answer : "None, 
except that he never take measures to 
revenge this injury, which I suffer of 
my country." The Emperor Titus 
being told that two brothers had con- 
spired to cause his death, scrupled not 
to invite them both to sup with him; 
and in the morning went with them 
to the theatre, and placed himself be- 
twixt them, to behold the play. Thus 
with marvellous clemency he over- 
came, at last, their baseness. And 
when Cato had committed suicide, J u- 
lius Csesar said: "I have lost a glori- 
ous victory ; for I had intended to for- 
give Cato all the evil that he has done 
to me." 

6. But after all, as to the man who 
cannot be influenced by the unspeak- 
able patience and meekness of the Son 
of God himself, to forgive and to love 
his enemies, him neither the example 
of the saints, nor of heathens, will ever 
be able to melt into love and forbear- 
ance. For what greater injustice and 
barbarity can be conceived, than that 
the Son of God should be so shame- 
fully treated by the children of men, 
be scourged with stripes, crowned with 
thorns, spit upon, and loaded with all 



Chap. XXVIII.] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



91 



the marks of scorn and derision; and 
lastly, be nailed on the cross? Never- 
theless, he was able to bear, with an 
unshaken firmness, all the affronts and 
indignities which the malice of men 
was able to contrive ; nay, and freely 
to pardon all this barbarous usage, 
and to pray, " Father, forgive them !" 
Luke 23 : 34. 

7. And, truly, it was to this very 
end that our blessed Eedeemer set his 
example before our eyes, that it might 
be an all-healing medicine for such 
spiritual diseases as have seized upon 
us; particularly, that it might abase 
all pride and loftiness, strengthen what 
is weak, supply what is defective, and 
correct what is evil and out of order. 
Can the distemper of pride be so vio- 
lent, as not» to be healed by the pro- 
found humility and lowliness of Christ? 
Heb. 5 : 8. Can avarice and covetous- 
ness prove so stubborn, as to baffle a 
remedy derived from that sacred pov- 
erty which appeared in Jesus Christ? 
What wrath is so fierce and vehement, 
that his meekness and lenity cannot 
mollify it ? What desire of revenge so 
bitter and barbarous, which his pa- 
tience cannot assuage and compose? 
What inhumanity so great and cruel, 
which the love of Christ cannot warm 



into a sweet and compassionate tem- 
per? And what heart can be so hard 
and obdurate, as not to be melted with 
the tears of Jesus Christ himself? 

8. Who would not heartily wish to 
be made like God the Father, his Son, 
and the Holy Ghost, and to carry 
within him the excellent image of the 
sacred Trinity, which chiefly consists 
in love and forgiveness? For it is the 
highest of all the divine properties, to 
show compassion and mercy, to spare 
and to pardon, to be kind and gra- 
cious: and that must be undoubtedly 
one of the sublimest virtues, which 
makes us bear the nearest resemblance 
to the Most High God, and to all such 
persons as are the most conspicuous 
for goodness and virtue. 

9. Lastly, the highest degree 6f 
virtue is, when a man, overcoming 
himself, is ready at any time to forget 
injuries, to pardon offences, and to 
show acts of favor and clemency. 
" He that is slow to anger," says Sol- 
omon, " is better than the mighty : and 
he that ruleth his spirit, than he that 
taketh a city." Prov. 16 : 32. This is 
the highest step of the soul's ascen- 
sion in her spiritual exercise ; and 
when she has attained it, she rests in 
God, and is perfect in him. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

SHOWING HOW THE LOVE OF THE CREATOR SHOULD BE PREFERRED TO THAT OF 
ALL CREATURES; AND HOW OUR NEIGHBOR IS TO BE LOVED IN GOD. 

If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. — 1 John 2 : 15. 



THE heart of man is so constituted, 
that it cannot exist without love ; 
it must love God, or the world, or self. 
If, therefore, man be under so strong 



a compulsion to love, let him direct 
his love to God, the supreme Good, 
and give up that affection to Him, 
who originally planted it in man, and 



92 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



kindled it by his good Spirit ; and who 
is still ready, at our fervent request, 
to rekindle this flame in the soul. His 
love to us is still the great principle 
that produces our love to him : and 
if his love to us meet with a suitable 
return on our side, then his love will, 
day by day, more ardently embrace 
us. For love begets love, according 
to the words of the Lord: "He that 
loveth me shall be loved of my Fa- 
ther." John 14 : 21. 

2. Wherever the love of God re- 
sides, it disposes the soul freely to 
love all men, and not only to wish 
them well, but to do them all proper 
acts of love and beneficence ; this be- 
ing the property of that love which is 
grounded in God, and derived from 
him. Such a lover of God and of his 
neighbor, will never hurt or defraud 
any man in word or deed. 

3. But the generality of the people 
are engrossed so much with the love 
of the world, that they never even 
admit the love of God into their 
hearts. This is plain from that false 
love with which they treat their 
neighbor, and which, under a show of 
friendship, seeks nothing but temporal 
advantage. Nothing in the world 
should be loved to such a degree, as 
to injure the love of God, or to come 
in competition with it; especially since 
there is so great a vanity and vile- 
ness in the world, and so great a 
worth and majesty in God, as that no 
comparison can ever be made betwixt 
them. As God infinitely excels all his 
creatures, so the love of God infinitely 
excels in holiness and dignity all the 
love we can bear to the creature, and 
is in no wise to be compared with it. 
No love to the creature ought to have 
sufficient weight with us, to make us 
offend the love of God, or to act in 
opposition to the same. 



4. St. Paul says: "Who planteth a 
vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit 
thereof?" 1 Cor. 9 : 7. These words 
may not improperly be applied to this 
case. Who is more worthy of our love, 
than he that hath planted it in our 
hearts, and to whose love we owe our 
life and being? And as we all live by 
the love of God in Christ, so we should 
all adhere to this love, and make it 
our constant support even in the time 
of adversity. As a pilot in tempestu- 
ous weather, does not leave the ship 
to the mercy of the billows, but se- 
cures it by the anchor as well as he 
can, and stays its unruly motions; so 
in like manner, when the ship of our 
faith is tossed about in the sea of this 
world, and beset on all sides with the 
temptations of sin and vanity, of 
wrath and pride, of lust and avarice, 
we should hold to the love of Christ, 
and not suffer our hearts to be re- 
moved from that spiritual steadfast- 
ness, which is to carry us safe through 
all the tempests of this perverse and 
boisterous world. Romans 8 : 38, 39. 
Thus, when sin and death, the devil 
and hell, tribulation and persecution, 
and other miseries, threaten to over- 
whelm us, we are then to hold fast 
the love of God manifested in Christ 
Jesus. This divine love is like that 
mountain of salvation which was 
showed to Lot when he went out of 
Sodom, to escape the fire of that ac- 
cursed place. Gen. 19 : 17. 

5. The fire of lust, attended with 
everlasting flames and torments, is 
worse than that of Sodom. But the 
love and fear of God are a sovereign 
remedy against this profane love, and 
against any motion contrary to its 
pure and heavenly nature. It was 
this divine fear and love which pre- 
served Joseph from the enticements 
of Potiphar's wife, and it still guards 



Chap. XXVIII.] 



TBUE CHRISTIANITY. 



93 



us against the snares of an evil world. 
Gen. 39 : 9. 

6. No man can love the world, but 
he who has never tasted the love of 
God; nor can any man hate, defraud, 
or circumvent his neighbor in any- 
thing, but he that does not love God 
from his heart. Whence arise all the 
anxious cares of this life, that grief 
and vexation of spirit with which poor 
mortals are disturbed ? Surely, from 
nothing but from a want of the love 
of God. For the sweetness of divine 
love is so strong and effectual, that it 
mitigates the sense of all the miseries 
that are incident to this life. This 
love renders a man happy even in 
death itself. 

7. Again, such is the nature of love, 
that it influences a man to lay aside all 
thoughts about anything else, and to 
fix his attention entirely on the be- 
loved object, in order to possess and 
enjoy that alone. Why then are the 
children of men so much besotted with 
the things of this world ? Why do 
they not entirely forget all wealth and 
honor, lust and riches, that they may 
enjoy him alone, whom they profess 
to love? This was in former times the 
constant practice of the holy men of 
God; whom the exquisite sweetness 
of this divine love had so much over- 
powered, as to make them forget the 
whole world, and even themselves also. 
Hence they were accounted fools in 
the world, when at the same time they 
were the wisest of all men ; and their 
despisers most deserved the name of 
fools and madmen, as preferring a 
handful of frail and transient things, 
to everlasting and never-fading pros- 
perity. Those are the greatest fools, 
who call the godly by that name, who, 
setting their love on things above, are 
deeply concerned to obtain and eter- 
nally enjoy them. 1 Cor. 3 : 19; 4:10. 



8. A true lover of God, loves God 
as if there were nothing in the whole 
universe to love but God alone. And 
for this reason, he finds all that in 
God, which he sought before in the 
world. For God hath in himself all 
things essentially, whatever we can de- 
sire. He is true honor and joy ; he is 
peace and pleasure ; he is wealth and 
magnificence. With him are light and 
life, glory and majesty, and all those 
delights that the heart of man can de- 
sire. All is found in a more substan- 
tial and transcendent manner in God, 
than it is in the world. If, therefore, 
thou lovest any creature, for the sake 
of beauty, transfer thy love to God, 
who is the fountain of all beauty. If 
thou wouldst love that which is good, 
fix thy love upon God, who is the eter- 
nal source of all goodness, nay, the es- 
sential Good itself, and without whom 
there is no goodness at all. Matt. 19 : 
17. For whatever goodness the crea- 
ture may seem to possess, it is but an 
inconsiderable drop derived out of the 
ocean of the infinite goodness of God, 
and which is besides impaired by many 
frailties and imperfections that adhere 
to it. 

9. To conclude — is it not far better 
to set thy love and affections on God 
alone, the unexhausted fountain and 
well-spring of all perfection and good- 
ness ? The less a thing has of earthly 
gravity in it, the lighter it is, and the 
more easily is it carried upwards. So 
it is with the soul ; the more it cleaves 
to earthly things, and is pressed down 
by them to the ground, the less ability 
has it to raise itself to God, and re- 
joice in its Maker. In a word, the 
less a man loves this world, the more 
will the love of God and of his neigh- 
bor prevail in the soul. 

10. Hence it follows that he that 



94 



TBUE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



loveth God, cannot but love his neigh- 
bor also, and he that dares to offend 



God, will not forbear to offend his 
neighbor. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 



OF THAT RECONCILIATION TO OUR NEIGHBOR, WITHOUT WHICH GOD WITHDRAWS 

HIS GRACE. 
First be reconciled to thy brother. — Matt. 5 : 24. 



EYEEY one who desires to be rec- 
onciled to God, must of necessity 
endeavor to reconcile himself to his 
neighbor; because God takes the in- 
jury which is offered to man, as of- 
fered to himself, and the evil done to 
man, as done to himself. 

2. When, therefore, any one offends 
both God and man, he cannot be re- 
stored to the favor of God before he is 
reconciled to man his neighbor; for 
having offended them both, he must 
also be reconciled to both, which is 
expressly attested by Christ himself: 
" If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and 
there rememberest that thy brother 
hath aught against thee, leave there 
thy gift before the altar, and go thy 
way; first be reconciled to thy brother, 
and then come and offer thy gift." 
Matt. 5 : 23, 24. 

3. It will be needful, therefore, to 
say something further of the love of 
God and of our neighbor, and to show 
how impossible it is to separate the 
one from the other: and again, that 
this reconciliation, so joined together, 
proves the true source of brotherly 
love and affection. 

4. This the beloved disciple has ex- 
pressed as follows : " If a man say, I 
love God, and hateth his brother, he 
is a liar: for he that loveth not his 
brother whom ho hath seen, how can 
he love God whom he hath not seen ? 



And this commandment have we from 
him, that he that loveth God love his 
brother also." 1 John 4 : 20, 21. So 
utterly impossible is it, that the love 
of God should subsist without the love 
of our neighbor. Hence, also, it fol- 
lows, that he who truly and unfeign- 
edly loves God, will also embrace his 
neighbor with the same sincere affec- 
tion. And again, if the love which we 
profess to bear to God be hypocritical 
and false, then the love with which we 
seem to love our neighbor, will rise no 
higher than its principle, but prove 
false likewise. Therefore, the love of 
our neighbor is the test of our love of 
God, by the right application of which, 
the truth or falsehood of that love will 
easily be discovered. 

5. This consideration gives us a true 
insight into the love of our neighbor, 
and that brotherly reconciliation which 
ought to attend it. There is a twofold 
object given by God to man, to which 
all the actions of his life are constantly 
to tend; namely, the love of God, and 
of our neighbor. Into this, all our en- 
deavors ought finally to be resolved, 
and we ought to make a daily progress 
in this holy exercise; since we are to 
this very end, created, redeemed, and 
sanctified. In a word, Christ himself 
is the one and only scope in which all 
our actions ought to centre. Now, the 
more we approach to love, the more 



Chap. XXIX.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



95 



we approach to Christ, and the better 
we imitate his unblamable life. 

6. For this end God was made man, 
or, the "Word was made flesh, that he 
might set before our eyes a most lovely 
and living image of his infinite love 
and kindness, and that from hence it 
might appear, that God was Love 
itself; love in His own immense, in- 
comprehensible, and unsearchable es- 
sence; and that man, by viewing so 
amiable an object of love as is dis- 
played in Christ Jesus, might be trans- 
formed into the same image day by 
day. 

7. Furthermore, as, in Christ, God 
and man are united together by an in- 
dissoluble tie, so the love of God is so 
closely connected with the love of our 
neighbor, that the former cannot exist 
without the latter. Nay, the love of 
God and of our neighbor can be no 
more disjoined or put asunder, than the 
divine and human natures in Christ. 
And as he who injures the humanity 
of Christ cannot bat affront his divin- 
ity also; so he who offends man, is in 
like manner guilty of offending the 
infinite God himself. We cannot be 
angry with our neighbor, without 
being, at the same time, angry with 
God! 

8. We will illustrate what has been 
said, by the following comparison. 
When a circle is made, and from its 
centre a number of lines are drawn 
to the circumference, all these lines, 
though ever so distant in the circum- 
ference, meet together in the point, 
which is in the middle. Here they 
are all united in one, and all flow into 
one, be they ever so wide asunder, 
yea, even directly opposite one to the 
other. Not one of all the lines, let 
their number be ever so great, can be 
broken from the rest, without losing 
its communication with the centre it- 



self, wherein they all meet. So God 
is a point, or a centre, whose circum- 
ference is everywhere, extending in a 
manner, to all men upon earth. Who- 
ever presumes to break off the lines 
of his love from his neighbor, must, 
in like manner, disjoin and break them 
off from God at the same time. And 
as all these lines cohere and concur in 
the centre, and therein mutually af- 
fect one another, so is there a sort of 
central sympathy, and a fellow-feel- 
ing, as it were, of the sufferings of our 
neighbor, provided we be but all united 
in God, the great centre of all good 
Christians. 

9. The truth of what has been said, 
is forcibly illustrated in the history of 
Job. When the tidings were brought 
him, that his temporal goods were 
destroyed, it appears that he quietly 
bore the loss of them, without giving 
any great sign of discontent at the 
appointments of Providence. He still 
continued to bless the Lord, and freely 
to own, that he who had given him his 
property, had also a right to take it 
away whenever he pleased. But when 
he was told, that he had also lost his 
children, then indeed it went to his 
heart: then he "arose, and rent his 
mantle, and shaved his head, and fell 
down upon the ground." Job. 1:20. So 
let every true Christian act when he 
hears of the calamity of his neighbor 
(here represented by the children of 
Job) ; knowing that he ought more to 
be affected with the misery of his 
neighbor, than with the loss of all his 
worldly substance. For it is the prop- 
erty of true love, to be moved with 
the miseries of other men more than 
with our own losses. O, happy men ! 
if they would live together in mutual 
love and affection ! Then frauds would 
cease; then injuries would be known 
no more, nor would there be any com- 



96 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



plaint of unjust ways, or of underhand 
dealings. 

10. In order that this might be the 
more deeply impressed on the heart, 
God was pleased to create but one man 
in the beginning, together with Eve, 
who was soon afterwards made. Gen. 
2 : 21, 22. This was done, that all man- 
kind, springing up from one original 
stock, and, as it were, from one root, 
might all unite in mutual kindness and 
brotherly affection with one another. 
This is the reason why God did not 
create a multitude of men in the be- 
ginning, but one only ; whereas he cre- 
ated many beasts, trees and herbs at 
once. 

11. The love which God commands 
us to pursue, is of that agreeable na- 
ture, and of that incomparable sweet- 
ness, that it does not in the least bur- 
den either a man's soul or body. Nay, 
it renders the mind easy under every 
event, is most agreeable to our very 
nature, and in every respect attended 
with a quiet and blessed life. But if 
the same God who has enjoined thee 
to love thy neighbor, had commanded 
thee to hate him, thou wouldest then 
have had cause to complain of hard 
usage, and of a far heavier burden than 
that which love can possibly impose 
upon thee. For the spirit of hatred 
and revenge is a tormentor of the soul, 
and a daily grief and vexation to those 
that are enslaved by it. On the con- 
trary, love refreshes the whole man; 
and is so far from weakening or de- 
stroying body or soul (which is the 
common effect of hatred and envy), 
that it is a great preserver of both, 
and exhilarates them by the heal- 
ing influence which it carries with it. 
In a word, to those that love God, it 
is a pleasure to love their neighbor 
also; but those who do not love God 
think it a hard and difficult task to 



embrace their neighbor with brotherly 
love. 

12. But if thy depraved nature should 
still find it a hard task to love thy 
neighbor, then consider how much 
harder it will be to be banished for- 
ever from the presence of God, and to 
endure the pangs of hell to all eternity. 
Wretched is the man, who makes so 
sad a choice as to prefer hell-torments 
to a friendly reconciliation. Our own 
experience would soon convince us, if 
we made the trial, that as by faith we 
enjoy solid peace with God (as the 
apostle assures us, Rom. 5:1); so by 
Christian love and reconciliation we 
enjoy peace with men, together with 
much ease and tranquillity of heart: 
whereas, on the contrary, a mind full 
of rancor and malice frets itself, and 
has no other reward to expect than the 
lashes of an unruly conscience. 

13. The sum of all this is : Every 
virtue rewards its followers with peace 
of conscience ; and every vice punishes 
those that commit it with the recom- 
pense which they deserve. Every vir- 
tue exalts those that practise it; and 
every vice covers its slaves with 
shame. 

14. With regard to the order and 
method by which we are to proceed 
in working out a sound reconciliation 
with our offended neighbor, the Scrip- 
ture is explicit. The terms of recon- 
ciliation are these: 1. The offender is 
to confess his sin to his neighbor whom 
he has offended. 2. He is faithfully to 
restore that of which he has defrauded 
his neighbor; that is, he ought to re- 
turn not only the principal, but also 
the fifth part over and above it. 3. If 
there be none to receive it, he is then 
to offer it unto the Lord himself. 
Numb. 5 : 7, 8. 

15. This restitution of things un- 
lawfully taken away, is commanded 



Chap. XXIX.] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



97 



in such strong and expressive words, 
as to show that it is absolutely a nec- 
essary part of unfeigned repentance. 
St. Augustine has thus expressed his 
mind on this subject : " The sin is not 
remitted, unless the thing unlawfully 
taken away be restored." — " When the 
thing that is taken away may be re- 
stored, and is not restored, there is no 
true, but a feigned repentance." 

16. And truly it is the property of 
unfeigned repentance to contemn all 
earthly things, and count them as loss 
(Phil. 3 : 8), in respect of that abound- 
ing grace which is bestowed upon a 
penitent sinner. Of this we have a 
glorious instance in Zaccheus, and in 
his conversion to God (Luke 19:8); 
who has had, however, comparatively 
few followers in this age. Sound con- 
version to God cleanses the heart, and 
purifies the conscience, by faith in 
Christ; it breaks the power of sin, 
and by influencing a man to restore 
such things as are wrongfully de- 
tained, not only clears the heart be- 
fore God, but also the outward conduct 
in the eye of the world. For in the 
heart and conscience a man is a thief 
before God, as long as he keeps any 
thing back that is taken away, how- 
ever he may cease to steal hereafter. 
Therefore, in order that repentance 
may prove true, and the conscience be 
freed from guilt, all possible restitu- 
tion is to be made: or if a man be not 
able to make full restitution, he ought 
fervently to implore the Lord, that he 
himself, in his stead, would restore the 
things taken from his neighbor, and 
thus do justice. 

17. Since a sinner is thus bound in 
a twofold respect to God and to his 
neighbor, in order that his repentance 
may be full and efficacious, it is re- 
quired that both be satisfied. God 
does not accept any man's repentance, 



unless he be first reconciled to his 
neighbor. Therefore, it is to no pur- 
pose if thou shouldest say unto God: 
"Merciful God, I confess that I have 
offended and injured my neighbor; I 
have damaged him by wicked usury 
and fraud; and have dealt so with 
him, as I would not that another 
should deal with me : which iniquity 
I humbly entreat thee, O Lord, to par- 
don for thy dear Son's sake." Be not de- 
ceived; God will not be mocked! He 
repels thy prayer, and saith : " Bestore 
first that which with fraud and. usury 
thou hast taken from thy neighbor, and 
then thy pardon shall be ready." Not 
as if a man merited the pardon of God 
by this restitution ; this is a debt due 
to his neighbor, and how can he pre- 
tend to merit any thing by that resti- 
tution which he is so engaged to make, 
and which the law of God expressly 
enjoins ? For thus hath the Lord com- 



manded : "All things whatsoever 



ye 



would that men should do to you, do 
ye even so to them." Matt. 7 : 12. " For 
with the same measure that ye mete 
withal, it shall be measured to you 
again." Luke 6 : 38. 

18. The same truth is confirmed by 
the following Scriptures :. " Leave thy 
gift (oblation or sacrifice) before the 
altar and go thy way ; first be recon- 
ciled to thy brother, and then come 
and offer thy gift." Matt. 5 : 24. "Cease 
to do evil ; learn to do well ; seek judg- 
ment, relieve the oppressed, judge the 
fatherless, plead for the widow. Come 
now, and let us reason together, saith. 
the Lord : though your sins be as scar- 
let, they shall be as white as snow ; 
though they be red like crimson, they 
shall be as wool." Isa. 1 : 16-18. And 
again, by the same prophet the Lord 
thus reasons: "Is not this the fast 
that I have chosen ? to loose the bands- 
of wickedness, to undo the heavy bur- 



98 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



dens, and to let the oppressed go free, 
and that ye break every yoke ? Is it 
not to deal thy bread to the hungry, 
and that thou bring the poor that are 
cast out to thy house? when thou 
seest the naked that thou cover him, 
and that thou hide not thyself from 
thine own flesh ? Then shall thy light 
break forth as the morning, and thine 
health shall spring forth speedily ; and 
thy righteousness shall go before thee; 



the glory of the Lord shall be thy 
rearward." Isa. 58 : 6-8. 

19. All these Scriptures, with one 
consent, proclaim this great truth, — 
that God will not accept the repent- 
ance of any man, or hear his prayer, 
or regard his alms and oblations, un- 
less he be first reconciled to his neigh- 
bor, and make him all the restitution 
that is in his power. 



CHAPTER XXX. 



OF THE FRUITS OF LOVE 

Vharity suffer eth long, und is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed 
up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no 
evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, 
hopeth all things, endureth all things. — 1 Cor. 13 : 4-7. 



EVEN as the tree of life stood in 
the midst of Paradise (Gen. 2 : 9); 
so Jesus Christ stands in the Paradise 
of the Christian Church, in order that 
all believers might derive life and 
strength from him. The whole sub- 
stance of the Christian religion con- 
sists in faith and love. As by faith in 
Christ, the life of a Christian is ren- 
dered acceptable to God (the life 
which he lives being not so much his 
own, as the life of Christ in him); so 
Love proves the fruitful principle of 
all such charitable acts as relate to his 
neighbor. And so true is it, that all 
virtues, how shining soever they may 
be, are of no account without charity; 
that even faith itself is counted dead 
if it be without love. James 2 : 17. 
For although faith, as it respects jus- 
tification, has no regard to works, 
either preceding, accompanying, or 
following it, but to Jesus Christ only, 



on whom it lays hold; yet is that faith 
but mere show and pretence which is 
not attended with love, though it 
should even work miracles. For as a 
body destitute of a soul is dead; so 
the inward spiritual man, if he have 
not love, is dead in all his members. 
Therefore hath the apostle declared, 
that faith should work by love. Gal. 
5:6. It is true that faith justifies a 
sinner without works (Rom. 4:6): yet 
when it performs the functions of mu- 
tual love among men, it will neces- 
sarily be accompanied with a train of 
good works; this being the true test 
by which genuine faith can be dis- 
tinguished from all counterfeits. This 
is that faith which works by love; 
this is the tree which bears abundance 
of fruits, as from the following con- 
siderations will farther appear. 

2. The first of these fruits is long- 
suffering. "Charity suffereth long." 



Chap. XXX.] 



TBUE CHRISTIANITY. 



99 



The nature and constitution of this 
virtue no one ever more fully ex- 
pressed than Christ himself, the true 
tree of life, whose goodly and salutary 
fruits we ought to eat, and to convert 
into our own substance and nature. 
As he by bis wonderful long-suffering 
bore the malice of the world, that 
thereby sinners might be brought to 
repentance (Eom. 2:4); so do thou 
also, O man, order thy life and man- 
ners, that it may appear evident, that 
the meek and gentle Christ lives in 
thee, and that thou mayest continue 
in him, as a member firmly united to 
its head. 

3. The second fruit is kindness. 
"Charity is kind." This virtue was 
also most eminently seen in Christ 
Jesus, and in that example which he 
hath set us. David says: "Grace is 
poured into thy lips." Ps. 45 : 2. And 
the Evangelist tells us, that "they 
wondered at the gracious words which 
proceeded out of his mouth." Luke 
4 : 22. To these words do thou give 
attention, O man, and follow this 
great pattern of love and benignity, 
that so Christ may also speak by thy 
mouth, and that thou mayest remain 
united to him in perpetual charity. 

4. The third fruit is, not to be envi- 
ous and revengeful, but to be ready to 
remit any offence whatsoever. "Char- 
ity envieth not." Nothing is more 
agreeable to the nature of God, than 
to forgive. "The Lord is merciful and 
gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous 
in mercy. He will not always chide, 
neither will he keep his anger forever. 
He hath not dealt with us after our 
sins, nor rewarded us according to our 
iniquities." Ps. 103:8-10. "If the 
wicked will turn from all his sins that 
he committed, and keep all my stat- 
utes, and do that which is lawful and 
right, he shall surely live, he shall not 



die. All his transgressions that he 
hath committed, they shall not be men- 
tioned unto him; in his righteousness 
that he hath done, he shall live." Ezek. 
18:21,22. "Is Ephraim my dear son? 
Is he a pleasant child ? For since I 
spake against him, I do earnestly re- 
member him still; therefore my bowels 
are troubled for him; I will surely 
have mercy upon him, saith the Lord." 
Jer. 31 : 20. And lastly, this divine 
goodness is most clearly expressed by 
Isaiah, and represented as the very 
character of God : " I, even I, am he 
that blotteth out thy transgressions, 
for my own sake, and will not re- 
member thy sins." Isa. 43 : 25. There- 
fore be thou in this respect also like 
unto the merciful God. Forgive, I 
say, and forget the trespasses of thy 
neighbor, that so, in like manner, 
Christ may also forgive thine offences 
and transgressions. It is then that 
the same mind is in thee which was 
also in Christ. And in this order 
alone thou shalt obtain fellowship with 
him. 

5. The fourth fruit is candor. " Cha- 
rity vaunteth not itself." A kind and 
charitable man does not misjudge his 
neighbor, vaunt it over him, rashly 
censure him, or disingenuously de- 
ride him before others. True love is 
altogether averse to these unfair pro- 
ceedings. Whoever sincerely loves 
his neighbor, shows his heart in his 
countenance, and does all things in- 
genuously, and without guile. A visi- 
ble example hereof Christ himself hath 
left us, whose deportment was equal 
both to friends and enemies, and who 
from the bottom of his heart endeav- 
ored most earnestly to promote the 
salvation of mankind. Let this be an 
example to thee, O man, and follow 
in thy Master's footsteps, that so the 
candor which was in Christ, may also 



100 



TEÜE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



shine forth in thy life and conduct. 
As the Lord has most heartily es- 
poused our good and interest, so ought 
we in like manner, to do the same 
among ourselves also; if we wish to 
partake of the nature of Christ, and 
to be united to him, as living mem- 
bers to their Head and Saviour. 

6. The fifth fruit is, not to be " puffed 
up." Charity is not of a haughty and 
supercilious temper. It is not swelled 
with high conceit on account of its 
own deeds and performances. Behold 
again thy Lord Jesus ! When a wo- 
man, in a great concourse of people, 
lifted up her voice and said: "Blessed 
is the womb that bare thee, and the 
paps which thou hast sucked," "Yea," 
replied he, "rather blessed are they 
that hear the word of God and keep 
it " (Luke 11 : 27, 28) ; humbly remov- 
ing from himself that praise which 
was entirely due to him, and resigning 
it to those that truly loved the Lord. 
If thou also resolvest to do this, then 
verily the humble Jesus lives in thee, 
and thou livest in him ; it being the 
constant character of true charity, to 
transfer the praises of men to another 
whom it esteems more worthy of 
them. 

7. The sixth effect of charity is, "not 
to behave itself unseemly." A man en- 
dued with love, is not easily soured 
with discontent, or with any morose 
humor. His conversation is easy, 
obliging, and so concordant with all 
the offices of love and humanity, that 
the kindness residing within may even 
be read in his countenance. Of this 
sweetness of temper, the Lord Jesus 
hath left us a most bright and holy 
pattern. He did all with a spirit of 
mildness; and when he conversed with 
sinners, then pity and compassion vis- 
ibly appeared in his very mien and 
aspect. This sweet temper of Christ 



ought also to be transfused into our 
souls, so that our life may prove a 
transcript of this most blessed origi- 
nal. 

8. The seventh fruit of true love is, 
" not to seek her own." A true Christian 
has by love obtained such enlargement 
and liberty of soul, as to serve his fel- 
low-creatures freely, without any view 
to self-interest. Nothing is more pleas- 
ing to him than to do good to all with- 
out the least expectation of gain. This 
pure and disinterested love originally 
dwells in Cod Almighty. He gives all 
things freely, without receiving any 
profit at all. He commands us to fear 
and worship him, for no other reason 
than to make us proper objects of his 
divine love and benignity. And, lo! 
what a glorious pattern of disinter- 
ested love Christ has set before us ! 
Matt. 20 : 28. As a tree, without re- 
spect of persons, imparts its fruit to 
all in the most ample and universal 
manner; so has Christ, and God in 
Christ, given himself unto us as the 
greatest and most excellent Good. Go 
now, O man ! and practise the same 
virtue; that so Christ, the ever-living 
vine, may bud in thee, and that thou 
mayest become a fruitful plantation 
of the Lord. Isaiah 61 : 3. 

9. The eighth fruit of true love is, 
" not to be easily provoked." A man 
that has tasted of true love, is not apt 
to entertain any bitterness, much less 
to vent it by cursing and railing words. 
Contemplate again the life of Jesus, 
who did not so much as open his mouth 
against his enemies, nor pour forth 
any bitter and vehement speeches, but 
gave blessing and life to those that 
hated him. Isaiah 11:3; 42:2. And 
though he, indeed, denounced wrath 
against Chorazin, Capernaum, and 
Bethsaida, and uttered many woes 
against the Pharisees (Luke 10 : 13 ; 



Chap. XXX.] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



101 



11 :42); yet this did not proceed from 
a bitter or revengeful temper ; but was 
no more than a serious and earnest 
exhortation to true and unfeigned re- 
pentance, that so the offenders might 
at last be saved. Therefore, let us be 
cautious, lest any root of bitterness 
should at any time spring up in us, 
and so hinder our charity, and thus 
many be offended. Heb. 12 : 15. 

10. The ninth fruit of charity is, "to 
think no evil." This is also the prop- 
erty of God Almighty, as he himself 
testifies: "For I know the thoughts 
that I think towards you, saith the 
Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of 
evil, to give you an expected e^d. 
And ye shall seek me, and find me, 
when ye shall search for me with all 
your heart." Jer. 29 : 11, 13. Whence 
it follows that whosoever has thoughts 
of peace towards his neighbor, has the 
mind of Christ, and is animated and 
influenced by his Spirit. 

11. The tenth fruit is, "Loverejoic- 
eth not in iniquity," nor has it pleas- 
ure in the injury or oppression of good 
men, as Shimei had when David fled 
before Absalom. 2 Sam. 16 : 5, 6. On 
the contrary, true love imitates Christ 
Jesus, who, with a tender compassion, 
beholding with a mournful counte- 
nance, the fall of Peter (Luke 22 : 61), 
raised and reclaimed him, and thereby 
fulfilled the words of the Psalmist : 
" God raises them that are bowed 
down." Ps. 146 : 8. And how did he 
deplore the evil which was hanging 
over the men of Judea, and the de- 
struction of their temple and city! 
Luke 19 : 41 ; 15 : 4. With what fer- 
vency, with what a hearty desire, did 
he bring his wandering sheep into the 
right way ; and with what a sweet 
and gentle voice did he allure them 
home ! Let us imitate so great a mas- 
ter of love; and if any one be over- 



taken in a fault, let us bewail his case, 
instruct him in the spirit of meekness, 
and bear his burden, that so we may 
fulfil the law of Christ. Gal. 6:2. 
For he did first bear himself the bur- 
den of our sins, that we, being made 
his living members, might be formed 
to the same temper by him, who is the 
Head of the Church. 

12. The eleventh property of charity 
is, that it " rejoiceth in the truth," and 
is exceedingly pleased with a Chris- 
tian order of things. Of this we have 
an example in Christ Jesus, who, at 
the return of the seventy disciples, re- 
joiced in spirit and praised his Father 
for the success which had attended 
their function. Luke 10 : 21. Thus also 
the angels in heaven rejoice (as Christ 
himself teaches us), over the conver- 
sion of a sinner. Luke 15 : 10. Who- 
ever, therefore, seriously lays to heart 
the practice of so Christian a virtue, 
manifests thereby an angelical temper 
of mind: nay, it is a proof that the 
very mind of Christ, yea, of God him- 
self, resides in that soul. 

13. The twelfth fruit of charity is, to 
" bear all things," in order to preserve 
the bond of peace and of mutual friend- 
ship. Love patiently bears the infirmi- 
ties of others, after the example of St. 
Paul, who was made weak with the 
weak, that he might profit the weak : 
nay, he was made all things, if by any 
means he might be an instrument to 
save some. 1 Cor. 9 : 22. The same 
heavenly love believeth all things, and 
suspects no evil of its neighbor ; hopeth 
all things, praying and desiring that 
peace and happiness may constantly 
accompany our fellow-creatures. And, 
lastly, true love endureth all things for 
the sake of benefiting a neighbor; all 
which our blessed Eedeemer, by his 
own example, has most feelingly taught 
us. He bore all manner of reproaches 



102 



TBUE CHBISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



and injuries for our sins; he underwent 
most inhuman scourgings and buffet- 
ings, with extreme poverty, that in 
him, and by him, we might obtain 
everlasting joy and honor. 

14. The thirteenth fruit of love is, 
"not to faint or be weary," in doing 
good. Herein it is like G-od, whose 
mercy is from everlasting to everlast- 
ing upon those that fear him. Ps. 
103 : 17 ; Luke 1 : 50. God expects and 
waits that he may be gracious unto 
us. Isa. 30 : 18. In order that he might 
have mercy on us, he rose up to spare 
us, and he loves to be exalted in show- 
ing mercy. His love is stronger than 
death, which many waters are not 
able to quench, and from which noth- 
ing can ever separate us. Cant. 8 : 7. 
He hath mercy on us with everlasting 
mercies. And though he declares, on 
a certain occasion, that he is "weary 
with repenting" (J er. 15:6); yet is 
this confined to those only who wil- 
fully reject the tender of his mercy, 
who despise his grace, and abuse his 
goodness : and in no wise affects those 
that heartily fear him. " The moun- 
tains shall depart, and the hills be re- 
moved; but my kindness shall not de- 
part from thee, neither shall the cove- 
nant of my peace be removed, saith 
the Lord that hath mercy on thee." 
Isa. 54 : 10. After this standard of di- 
vine mercy, we ought also to regulate 



the love we bear to our neighbor, so 
that it may never fail or faint in acts 
of humanity and kindness; no, not 
even in those which we are bound to 
bestow on our very enemies. As Christ 
did, so ought we, from a compassion- 
ate and never-failing love, to pray, 
" Father, forgive them." Luke 23 : 34. 
15. In a word, Love is the greatest, 
the best, and the noblest of all virtues. 
First, because God himself is love. 1 
John 4 : 16. Secondly, because it is 
the fulfilling and the summary or com- 
prehension of the whole law. Eom. 
13 : 10. Thirdly, because it is eternal 
and never-failing, so that it is not like 
faith and hope, which vanish away 
w T hen that happiness appears which is 
the end of faith. 1 Cor. 13:8. Fourthly, 
because all good works and services 
done to our neighbor without it, are 
vain and of no account before God. 
And lastly, because love gives us an 
assurance here, that by faith in Christ 
we shall inherit life eternal hereafter. 
Hence it follows, that Christian love 
must excel all other gifts and 
whatsoever 
cern ought to centre in so divine a 
virtue. Nothing, certainly, can be 
greater than experimentally to know 
that love of Christ which "passeth all 
knowledge," that we may be filled 
with all the fulness of God, and the 
fruits of love. Eph. 3 : 19. 



~ graces 
and that our main con- 



Chap. XXXI.] 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



103 



CHAPTER XXXI. 



PRIDE AND SELF-LOVE CORRUPT AND DESTROY EVEN THE BEST AND NOBLEST 

GIFTS. 

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become a» 
sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal, etc. — 1 Cor. 13 : 1, etc. 



LEST any should wonder why St. 
Paul sets forth the virtue of 
charity with so many high and emi- 
nent praises ; we are to consider that 
Cod is love; and that, consequently, 
the same praise belongs to both : nor 
can there be a greater virtue in Cod 
or man, than love. 

2. But our love is twofold: the one 
true, living, sincere, and undefiled; 
the other false, polluted, hypocritical, 
and selfish. The former of these St. 
Paul has most amply described, and 
exhibited all the fruits and properties j 
that attend it, of which we have al- I 
ready spoken. The latter kind, which 
is false and polluted, may sometimes 
seem, indeed, to promote the glory of 
God, and the profit of mankind; yet 
inwardly, and in the heart, it seeks 
nothing either in word or deed, but 
private honor and interest only. Now 
whatever flows from this fountain of 
false love, proceeds not from Cod, but 
from the devil; for it is a poison in- 
fecting the very best of works, and 
the most excellent gifts conferred on 
man. 

3. As a flower, that in sight, taste, 
and smell, is sweet and beautiful, is re- 
jected with disgust, if it contain secret 
venom, because it is hurtful to man ; 
so, though a man be adorned with the : 
most exquisite parts, and the very gifts 
of angels themselves, if he be void of 
charity, and full of avarice, pride, self- 
love, and self-honor, then all those gifts 
not only prove of no value, but be- 



come pernicious to him that possesses 
them. For whatever is really good, 
always proceeds from Cod himself, so 
as to begin and end in him. Whatever 
deviates from this beginning and end,. 
can never be really good, nor accept- 
able to the Lord. That which this good 
Cod works in thy heart, is truly good, 
and only good : but it is quite other- 
wise if self-love, self-honor, and self- 
interest, bear the sway in thy soul, 
and influence the actions of thy life. 
All that springs from so depraved a 
principle, must be of the same nature 
with the principle whence it flows, 
corrupt and defiled, since it does not 
proceed from God as from its original 
cause and moving principle; God alone 
is good. Matt. 19 : 17. 

4. It is said that it was the wish of 
a certain saint of old, that he might 
be of no other use to God, than his 
own right hand was to himself; an in- 
strument, ready to give and to receive 
what was fit, and this in the manner- 
directed by the soul ; arrogating nei~ 
ther honor nor profit to itself. And,, 
indeed, it is right that we all should 
be of the same temper. For as all 
things come freely from God to us, so- 
we should return all things freely to. 
our neighbor, from a principle of pure- 
love, and in true singleness of heart,, 
without any desire of glory or self-in- 
terest. For as God alone is the author- 
of all that is good; so it is but just 
that all honor and glory should be- 
given to him alone. Man is but an in- 



104 



TBUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



ßtrument, made fit to receive and to 
deliver what God bestows upon him. 

5. Now if a man be without this 
sincere and pure love, he is, notwith- 
standing all his gifts and endowments, 
a mere nothing, and of no account in 
the sight of God. Though he speak 
with the tongues of angels; though he 
prophesy, and know all mysteries, and 
have such faith as even to remove 
mountains; and though he should 
moreover bestow all that he has 
among the poor, and give his body 
to be burned ; all this will avail him 
nothing at last, and stand him in no 
stead when he is to have his trial. 1 
Cor. 13 : 1-3. 

6. The reason is plain. Self-love, 
self-honor, and self-interest, are of the 
devil, who thereby procured his own 
downfall from heaven. For after God 
had created Lucifer a most glorious 
angel, and adorned him with the most 
excellent gifts of wisdom, light, and 
glory, he began to pride himself in his 
gifts, and to love, honor, and exalt 
himself. This self-complacency proved 
the very first step to his ruin. He 
turned his love from God to himself, 
and was deservedly driven from his 
principality, together with all such as 
adhered to him, and whom he had in- 
fected with the same pride and self- 
love. Not contented with his estate 
or principality, he aspired too high, 
and lost all which the Creator had con- 
ferred upon him, according to St. 
Jude : " The angels kept not their first 
estate." Jude 6. See also Col. 2 : 15. 

7. By the same sin which had ef- 
fected his own ruin, Satan attempted 
the ruin of man, namely, by diverting 
him from the love of God to the love 
■of himself. Hereby self-love and self- 
'honor began to act in man, and influ- 
enced him to seek equality with God 
Ihimself. Hence he was cast out of 



Paradise, as Lucifer had been before 
cast out of heaven, leaving to us all 
the heritage of pride and self-love. 
And this is the fall of Adam, which 
all men in themselves repeat; and 
which is transmitted through flesh and 
blood, from one generation to another. 

8. The remedy by which a thorough 
cure may be wrought in fallen man, is 
wholly to be sought in the precious 
merit of Christ apprehended by faith. 
By this we are renewed in Christ, and 
the flesh is crucified, with its sinful 
desires. Then we love ourselves no 
more, but on the contrary, even hate 
ourselves. Luke 14 : 26. We do not 
honor or extol, but deny and mortify 
ourselves. We no more seek our own 
glory and interest ; but, denying all 
we have, we withdraw our pleasure 
and trust from everything whatsoever 
it be (Luke 14 : 33), and manfully fight 
with our own flesh and blood. Who- 
soever refuses to comply with these 
terms, can in no case be a disciple of 
Christ; since this is the only means 
by which the natural degeneracy of 
our heart is to be subdued, and a sound 
conversion is to be effected. 

9. Since it was utterly impossible 
that man, by his own natural strength, 
should restore himself (for of himself, 
he can do nothing but love himself, 
boast of himself, and seek his own ends 
and interest; or, to sum up all' in a 
word, commit sin); God, in his infinite 
mercy, was moved to commiserate 
man's fallen condition, and to make 
the very beginning of the work of 
man's restoration. In order to this, 
the Son of God took the form of a man 
upon him, thereby to renew our nature, 
that, being regenerated by him, in him, 
and from him, we might become new 
creatures. For as in Adam we are 
dead both bodily and spiritually, so 
w# ought to rise again in Christ, and 



Chap. XXXI.J 



TBUE CHBISTIANITY. 



105 



be renewed both in spirit and body. 
1 Cor. 15 : 22. And as by a carnal 
descent from Adam, sin, self-love and 
pride cleave to our nature; so in 
Christ, by a spiritual birth, we must be 
justified, and inherit by faith his right- 
eousness. And, as by our carnal birth, 
we draw our sin from Adam, especially 
self-love, pride, and ambition ; so from 
Christ, by faith, and by the Holy 
Ghost, our nature is to be renewed, 
cleansed, and sanctified. All self-love, 
pride, and ambition, are to die in us, in 
order that we may attain a new heart 
and a new spirit from Christ, even as 
we received our sinful flesh from Adam. 
And with reference to this new birth 
in us, Christ is called the everlasting 
Father. Isaiah 9 : 6. 

10. Hence it follows, that all the 
works of a Christian, together with his 
gifts and talents, ought to proceed 
purely from the new birth, if ever they 
be acceptable to God; and that they 
ought to spring from faith, from Christ, 
and from the Holy Ghost. Wherever 
this principle is wanting, there the 
most excellent parts, and even miracles 
themselves, are of no account at all 
before God. So with respect to our 
neighbor, all things ought to be done 
in Christian charity (1 Cor. 16 : 14), 
without any view to private gain, or 
honor ; as a pattern of which God has 
set his Son before us (John 13 : 15), 
in whom there was no spot of self-love 



or arrogance j no desire of profit or 
praise ; nay, in whom nothing resided 
but pure and undefiled love and humil- 
ity. He is inwardly to live in our 
hearts by faith, and outwardly to be 
expressed in our whole life and con- 
duct. It is then, that all our works, 
words, and knowledge, wholly proceed 
from Christ, as from their original 
source. Without this divine principle 
settled within the mind, all our gifts 
and works, be they ever so high and 
angelical, are insignificant, and of no 
worth. For wherever self-love sways 
the soul, there must be a hatred of 
God; where pride rules, it engenders a 
contempt of God; and how can works 
springing from so vitiated a principle, 
ever be acceptable to the Lord? 

11. Let us, therefore, most fervently 
beseech the Lord, to give us true faith 
and sincere love; a love not defiled 
with any desire of vain honor, profit, 
and glory. Whenever this divine tem- 
per is obtained and established in the 
heart, it is followed with this happy 
effect, that thereby not only great and 
illustrious endowments and works are 
made acceptable to God, but also the 
least and meanest of all, even the gift 
of a cup of cold water. Matt. 10 : 42. 
For a small work proceeding from sin- 
cere love and humility, is far more ex- 
cellent than all the splendid works 
that are raised on no other foundation 
than pride and self-love. 



106 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 



THAT WORKS BY LOVE. 



The kingdom of God is not in word, but in poioer. — 1 Cor. 4 : 20. 



ST. PAUL, intending to describe a 
Christian in a few words, says: 
" The end of the commandment is 
charity out of a pure heart, and of a 
good conscience, and of faith unfeign- 
ed/' 1 Tim. 1 : 5. As if he had said: 
To be a Christian, and to render our- 
selves acceptable in the sight of God, 
requires nothing hard and lofty; no 
worldly wisdom, no human learning, 
no great parts, no gift of prophesy- 
ing, no eloquence, no knowledge of 
tongues, no miracles: but only that a 
man have faith in Christ; that he do 
all things in love, and with a mind 
wholly resigned to God; and that he 
suffer himself to be led and governed 
by the good Spirit of God. 

2. We should not, therefore, regard 
how many languages a man speaks, or 
how eloquent he is in his delivery; 
but how he shows forth his faith by 
love, and by the mortification of the 
flesh. " For they that are Christ's have 
crucified the flesh with the affections 
and lusts" (Gal. 5:24): under which 
are included self-esteem, self-love, cov- 
etousness, vain-boasting, ambition, self- 
interest, and all else that is carnal. To 
which purpose also St. Paul says, that 
" the kingdom of God is not in word," 
or in great gifts and endowments, 
"but in power" (ICor. 4: 20); that is, 
in a living exercise of Christian vir- 
tues, of faith, love, meekness, patience, 
and humility. 

3. Therefore, no man is in favor with 
God, or is saved, because he is endued 



with brighter gifts than others; but 
because he is found in Christ Jesus by 
faith, and lives in him as a new crea- 
ture. 2 Cor. 5 : 17. Great gifts do not 
make us happy. If a man had at- 
tained to gifts so extraordinary and 
marvellous as never any possessed 
before, yet would he be certainly cast 
away, unless he lived at the same 
time in the exercise of daily repent- 
ance in Christ, in a ready abnegation 
of the world, and in a denial of him- 
self, and of all his selfish desires. Nay, 
if he did not hate and forsake him- 
self, so as to place his whole confi- 
dence in God alone, and to cleave to 
his grace, as an infant to the breast 
of the mother, he would be forever 
banished from the presence of God, 
notwithstanding all his gifts and all 
his endowments. 

4. It is certain that gifts and parts 
are not bestowed upon us in order to 
make us great here, and happy here- 
after; but they are wholly dispensed 
for the edification of the Church. 
When the seventy disciples, at their 
return, said with joy, "Lord, even the 
devils are subject unto us through 
thy name " (Luke 10 : 17, 20) ; our 
Lord replied: "In this rejoice not (for 
neither miracles nor gifts shall save 
you), but rejoice rather because your 
names are written in heaven." By 
faith Moses was saved, not by his 
miracles. Aaron's eloquence did not 
the more endear him to God. And 
Miriam, the sister of Moses, who was 



Chap. XXXII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



107 



endued with the gift of prophecy, and 
by whom the Spirit of the Lord spoke, 
was struck with the leprosy. Numb. 
12 : 10. 

5. The apostles themselves did not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven be- 
cause of the miracles which they per- 
formed, nor on account of the gift of 
tongues conferred upon them, but be- 
cause they believed in Christ, the Sa- 
viour of the world. Those of the first 
rank, and those of the meanest con- 
dition, must tread in the same way of 
faith and humility, of repentance and 
mortification, and become new crea- 
tures in Christ through faith and love; 
in whom Christ also may live again 
by this faith. Whoever neglects this 
order, cannot expect to be accounted 
one of the family of Christ. 

6. Christian love is that new vital 
principle by which a man is actuated 
to do good. This is attended with the 
life of Christ, and the powerful in- 
dwelling of the divine Sjririt. To this 
purpose the apostle desires, that we 
may be filled with all the fulness of 
God (Eph. 3 : 19) : and St. John tells 
us, that "God is love, and that he who 
dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and 
God in him." 1 John 4 : 16. Whoever, 
therefore, feels the love of God shed 
abroad in his heart, feels no less than 
God himself there. However, in order 
that we might not deceive ourselves 
with a false and hypocritical, instead 



of a true and divine love, the apostle 
has drawn up the character thereof, 
and represented it as a tree adorned 
with numerous branches : " Love," 
says he, "is patient, kind," etc. 1 Cor. 
13. All which are the essential prop- 
erties of Christians, and consequently 
the life of the new man. 

7. To sum up all in a few words, 
God the Father is love, God the Son 
is love, God the Holy Ghost is love. 
The whole spiritual body of Christ, 
which is the Church, is also knit to- 
gether by the bond of love; so that 
there is but one God, one Christ, one 
Spirit, one baptism, one faith (Eph. 
4:5, 6); and lastly, eternal life itself 
shall be nothing else but eternal love. 

8. Whoever, therefore, does not live 
in love, is certainly a dead member of 
the body of Christ. As a dead mem- 
ber is not supported by that natural 
heat which nourishes the body and 
every living member thereof, nor is 
sustained with proper food for its daily 
growth and increase; so a man who 
does not live in Christian love is des- 
titute of spiritual life, and is dead to 
God and to Christ. He is without 
faith, a withered, lifeless branch; he 
has no part in God, in Christ, and the 
Holy Ghost, in the holy Christian 
Church, and in life eternal; and will 
be excluded from the presence ofthat 
God, who has declared himself to be 
Love. 



108 



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[Book I. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

GOD HAS NO RESPECT TO THE WORKS OE ANY ONE; BUT JUDGES OP WORKS 
ACCORDING TO THE HEART. 



Every way of a man is right in his own eyes; but the Lord poyidereth the hearts. — Pro v. 21 



WHEN the prophet Samuel, by the 
commandment of God, went to 
anoint David king, he entered the 
house of Jesse, and offered to anoint 
his first-born: but the Lord said to 
him: "Look not on his countenance, 
or on the height of his stature; because 
I have refused him. For the Lord 
seeth not as man seeth; for man look- 
eth on the outward appearance, but 
the Lord looketh on the heart." 1 Sam. 
16:7. 

2. By this example God declares, on 
the one hand, that he has no regard 
to any man's person, be he ever so 
great and eminent, when his heart is 
destitute of piety, love, faith, and hu- 
mility ; and on the other, that he es- 
teems persons and works according to 
the inward spirit and intention of the 
mind, and thence allows or disallows 
them, according to Prov. 21:2. More- 
over, all gifts and endowments, how 
considerable soever they be, and how 
admirable,, great, and glorious they 
may appear in the eyes of men, in no- 
wise please the Lord, unless they be 
accompanied with a pure heart, a heart 
that has a steady respect to the honor 
of God and the profit and edification 
of our neighbor; and which, at the 
same time, is freed from pride and 
arrogance, from self-love, and self-in- 
terest, and any of those sinister views 
which are apt to mingle with the works 
of a Christian. 

3. Consider the example of Lucifer, 
the fairest and most glorious angel 



which heaven contained. No sooner 
did he stain the gifts of God with self- 
love and self-honor (not considering 
that he was bound to advance thereby 
the glory of God, who had conferred 
them upon him), than he was trans- 
formed into a devil, and, being cast 
down from heaven, was shut out from 
the glorious presence of God. 

4. If ever, therefore, our works shall 
be acceptable to God, they ought to 
proceed from pure faith towards God, 
and sincere love to our neighbor, being 
cleared from the spots of self-love, self- 
honor, and self-interest, as much as 
possibly can be in this state of infirm- 
ity. To this end St. Paul says, 
" Though I speak with the tongues 
of men and of angels, and have not 
charity, I am become as sounding 
brass or a tinkling cymbal" (1 Cor. 
13 : 1) : that is, I am altogether vain 
and unprofitable. In truth, God re- 
gards not fluency of speech, but an 
humble heart; not arts, learning, wit, 
or ability, but he weighs the spirit of 
a man, whether it be bent upon pro- 
moting its own honor and interest, or 
the glory of God and the profit of men. 
Nor does God regard a faith by which 
mountains might be removed, and the 
eyes of the beholders be attracted 
from all sides, if a man seek thereby 
his own honor and glory. But the 
Lord looks with the greater affection 
upon him who " is poor, and of a con- 
trite spirit, and trembles at his word." 
Isaiah 66 : 2. In short, if a man dis- 



Chap. XXXIV.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



109 



tribute all that he has to the poor, or 
give up his body to be burned, it will 
be all to no purpose, if the act be sul- 
lied with self-honor and self-compla- 
cency. It is the heart only and the in- 
ward intention of the mind, which the 
Lord regards. This fully appears from 
many instances recorded in Scripture. 
5. Both David and Saul attended the 
service of God, but with a different ef- 
fect, 1 Sam. 15: 9; 2 Sam. 24:25. Da- 
vid, Manasseh (2 Chron. 33: 13), Nebu- 
chadnezzar, and Peter, after repent- 
ance, obtained mercy ; Saul, Pharaoh, 
and Judas, on the contrary, fell short of 
it, on account of the different principle 
which swayed their minds. Pharaoh 
(Exod. 9:27) and Saul (1 Sam. 15 : 
24), no less than Manasseh, used the 
same prayer, "Lord, I have sinned!" 
but they received different rewards. 
The prayer of Hezekiah, Joshua, and 
Gideon (Isa. 38: 7; Josh. 10:12; Judg. 
6 : 37), by which they required a sign 
from heaven, is approved and praised; 
the Pharisees doing the same are re- 
jected and reproved. Matt. 12:38; 



16 : 4. The Publican and the Pharisee 
prayed both in the temple; but both 
are not approved. Luke 18 : 14. The 
Ninevites fasted (Jonah 3 : 5, 10) ; the 
Jews and Pharisees did the same 
(Matt. 6 : 16) : but the former were re- 
ceived, and the latter rejected. "Where- 
fore (say they) have we fasted, and 
thou seest not ?" Isa. 58 : 3. The poor 
widow, who cast into the treasury but 
two mites, is praised by Christ; where- 
as, he that gave more is not. Luke 
21 : 3. Herod and Zaccheus both re- 
joice at the sight of Christ; but they 
had most different rewards. Luke 19:6; 
23:8. 

6. All this proceeds from no other 
cause than the heart, and that moving 
principle by which it is swayed, and 
which God chiefly regards. He accepts 
those works only which flow from un- 
feigned faith, sincere love, and true 
humility ; for whatever our gifts or 
works may be, if pride, self-love, and 
the contagion of filthy lucre, infect 
them, they are at once rejected by the 
Lord. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 



SHOWING THAT GOD ALONE, WITHOUT ANY HUMAN AID, IS THE AUTHOR OF OUR 
SALVATION, AND THAT WE ARE TO SUBMIT UNRESERVEDLY TO HIS GRACE; 
ALSO, THAT CHRIST'S MERIT IS NOT IMPUTED TO THE IMPENITENT. 

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and 
sanctification, and redemption. — 1 Cor. 1 : 30. 



IN this impressive sentence, St. Paul 
teaches us that all things necessary 
for our salvation are merited by Christ 
Jesus our Lord. When we were ignor- 
ant of the way of life, he was made 
wisdom unto us ; when we were sin- 



ners, he was made our righteousness; 
when we were an abomination before 
God, he was made our sanctification ; 
and when we were in a state of dam- 
nation, he became our redemption. 
2. It is therefore most certain, that 



110 



TKUE CHEISTIAlSriTT. 



[Book 1 



man does not contribute so much as 
one jot to his salvation. Sin, indeed, 
man could commit of himself, but he 
was not able to justify himself again ; 
he could lose, but not recover himself; 
kill, but not restore to life; he could 
submit himself to the devil, but could 
not shake off his spiritual fetters. As 
a dead body cannot quicken itself 
again, so men "being dead in sins" 
(Eph. 2 : 1, 5), as the Apostle declares, 
cannot raise themselves again to life. 

3. We did not contribute anything 
towards our creation, neither do we 
perform anything towards our redemp- 
tion, regeneration, and sanctification, 
which are far greater transactions than 
the creation itself. 

4. Hence it was necessary, that the 
Son of God should take human nature 
upon him, to recover all that was lost 
in Adam, and to revive those that were 
dead in sins and trespasses. 

5. That this may be the better un- 
derstood, we ought to represent to 
ourselves the traveller in the Gospel, 
who, falling among thieves, was cruelly 
wounded and bruised by them, and at 
last utterly disabled from helping him- 
self again. Luke 10 : 30. Him, there- 
fore, the good Samaritan receives into 
his arms, binds up his wounds, sets 
him on his beast, takes him to an inn, 
and omits nothing that a faithful phy- 
sician could administer to a sick and 
wounded person. And as the traveller 
showed himself obedient to his physi- 
cian, and strictly followed the direc- 
tions prescribed by him ; so we ought 
to act if we desire to be healed of our 
disease. "We ought to suffer the heal- 
ing hand of the Lord, and not to resist, 
when he attempts" the cleansing of our 
wounds ; and when, after having 
poured in wine and oil, he binds them 
up. To obtain the blessed effect of 
these spiritual operations, we must 



wholly resign ourselves to him, who 
alone is able to save us ; and then 
we may trust to the goodness of God, 
that on his side he will not fail to re- 
store us to health and soundness. 

6. No sooner does a sinner repent 
than he begins his happy return to- 
wards the Lord, grieving for his former 
transgressions, and suffering that his 
wounds be washed with the sharp 
wine of the law, and the oil of consola- 
tion. Whoever complies with these 
terms, in him, Christ, by his grace, 
works an unfeigned faith, attended 
with all the fruits it produces, — right- 
eousness, life, peace, joy, comfort, and 
salvation, and thus "worketh in him 
both to will and to do, of his good 
pleasure." Phil. 2 : 13. 

7. But it is not in the power of man 
by nature to forsake sin. The Scrip- 
ture calls the natural man a "servant 
of sin" (John 8 : 34), and one. that is 
"sold under sin" (Eom. 7 : 14), who 
can do nothing but sin ; and the pro- 
phet says, " Can the Ethiopian change 
his skin, or the leopard his spots? then 
may ye also do good that are accus- 
tomed to do evil." Jer. 13 : 23. But 
" the grace of God that bringeth salva- 
tion, hath appeared to all men (by the 
Gospel), teaching us that denying un- 
godliness and worldly lusts, we should 
live soberly, righteously, and godly, in 
this present world." Tit. 2 : 11, 12. 
This is offered us by the word of God ; 
and it is this grace which excites, 
teaches, and allures fallen man ; which 
urges and influences him to renounce 
sin, and to submit to the discipline of 
grace. And these divine admonitions, 
furnished, through the Word, fully 
agree with the inward testimony of 
the conscience; so that a man is con- 
vinced both from without and from 
within of his sinful life, and of the 
necessity of quitting it, in order to 



Chap. XXXI V.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



Ill 



preserve his soul from everlasting de- 
struction, for whoever lives in sin, lives 
in opposition to God and his own con- 
science. 

8. When a man yields to the sugges- 
tions and exhortations of divine grace, 
and, proving obedient to the Word, be- 
gins to withdraw from his vicious life, 
then the grace of G-od endows him 
with all those virtues which the Gos- 
pel requires. It is then that faith 
springs up in the soul, the original 
principle of all other virtues. This is 
followed by love, and all Christian 
graces, which grow as so many fruits 
on the tree of faith. It is then, also, 
that light begins to shine in the midst 
of darkness. But as it is impossible 
that darkness should be able to en- 
lighten itself; so it is also impossible 
for fallen man to raise himself from 
darkness to light. Hence the Psalm- 
ist says, " For thou wilt light my 
candle; the Lord my God will en- 
lighten my darkness." Ps. 18:28. Let 
a man open his eyes ever so much, he 
will never be enlightened whilst the 
light of the sun is withdrawn from his 
sight. Thus the grace of God, that is, 
of Christ himself, is that clear and 
serene light, risen on all men "that 
sit in darkness, and in the shadow of 
death." Luke 1 : 79. " He enlighteneth 
every man that cometh into the world " 
(John 1 : 9): that is, he manifests himself 
to all, and offers his grace to all. He is 
the light of the whole world ; he shows 
the way of life to all men ; and leaving 
us his own example for imitation, he 
goes before us like a good shepherd 
(John 10 : 4), and guides his flock into 
the path in which they are to walk. 
He sought us out as his lost sheep, 
and even now daily seeks and allures 
us. Luke 15:4. Nay, more; he still 
follows us closely, calls after us, and 
wooes us to his love, in as endearing a 



manner as a bridegroom does his bride. 
O that men did not love sin and dark- 
ness rather than light and grace ! 

9. Now, as a physician, addressing 
his patient, says : " Beware of this, lest 
you die; you hinder the workings of 
the medicine by an irregular life, so 
that you cannot be made whole;" so 
Jesus Christ, the true physician of 
souls, says: "My beloved, I beseech 
thee, incline thy mind to true repent- 
ance; utterly forsake all thy sins; 
shake off thy pride, thy covetousness, 
thy carnal propensities, thy wrath, 
and thirst of revenge, with other sins. 
If this change be not wrought in thee, 
thou must surely die ; and the precious 
medicine of my blood and merit can 
profit thee nothing, whilst thy disor- 
derly life hinders their healing effect." 

10. It was for this cause that Christ 
gave it in charge to his apostles, be- 
fore all things, to preach repentance 
(Luke 24:47); and he himself called 
sinners to it while he conversed with 
them upon earth ; because an impeni- 
tent heart never can partake of his 
merits. 

11. Whoever hears that either sin 
must be forsaken, or eternal condem- 
nation be endured, must, of necessity, 
be brought to some serious consider- 
ation about the state of his soul. He 
is struck with a double conviction ; the 
truth of the Word of God, and the 
power of his own conscience, leaving 
so strong an impression upon him, as 
to set him beyond all doubts about 
the truth of this matter. It is true, 
God hath freely promised remission 
of sin to all men ; but it is on this con- 
dition, that they repent, and turn them- 
selves unfeignedly to the Lord. Thus 
the prophet says, " If the wicked shall 
turn from his wickedness, he shall live 
thereby. None of his sins that he 
hath committed shall be mentioned 



112 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



unto bim " (Ezek. 33 : 14, 16) : where 
we see that repentance and remission 
of sin are linked together. 

12. Christ, the Son of God, in no 
other sense promises life eternal to 
those that believe in his name. The 
nature of faith must, however, be 
more fully inquired into. This faith 
is a very active principle in the soul. 
It daily strives against the old man ; 
it tames the flesh, and subjects it to 
the Spirit; it converts the whole man; 
it subdues and vanquishes sin; it puri- 
fies the heart. He is a true believer 
who turns from the world, from sin 
and the devil, to God, and seeks rest 
and comfort wholly and entirely in 
the blood, death, and merit of Christ, 
without the works of himself, or of 
any other man whatsoever; the blood 
of Christ being a perfect ransom for 
all the debts which the soul has con- 
tracted. Whoever, therefore, imag- 
ines that his sins may be pardoned, 
although he desist not from them, is 
most miserably deluded. He deceives 
himself with a false faith, which he 
has assumed to himself, and the dread- 
ful effects of which he must hereafter 
feel. He can never be saved without 
true repentance. 

13. Consider the case of Zaccheus 
the publican, who, having a sound ap- 
prehension of the doctrine of faith 
and conversion, freely acknowledged 
that to be true faith by which a man 
is turned from sin to God, and in this 
order hopes to obtain a gracious par- 
don from Christ, and an interest in his 
merit, so as to rely upon it with a 
filial trust and an unshaken firmness 
of mind. In this manner did he un- 
derstand the word of our Lord, "Re- 
pent ye, and believe the Gospel" 
(Mark 1 : 15) : that is, Desist from sin, 
trust in my merits, and expect for- 
giveness of sin from me alone. Hence 



Zaccheus says to Christ, "Behold, the 
half of my goods I give to the poor; 
and if I have taken anything by false 
accusation, I restore fourfold." Luke 
19 : 8. In these words he does not 
commend his own works at all, but 
extols the grace of God, which had 
taught him the way of true repent- 
ance. As if he had said: "O Lord, 1 
am so thoroughly grieved at the 
fraudulent practices which I have 
committed against my neighbor, that 
I will not only restore fourfold unto 
him, but will also bestow half of my 
goods on the poor. Wherefore, Lord, 
since I confess my sin, and fully re- 
solve to leave it, I now embrace thy 
promises with faith, and beseech thee 
to receive me into thy grace and 
favor." And no sooner is this resolu- 
tion taken, than the Physician de- 
clares, "This day is salvation come to 
this house. For the Son of man is 
come to seek and to save that which 
was lost." 

14. This is true repentance and 
conversion, carried on by a faith 
which is the work of God within us. 
God himself will begin, advance, and 
finish at last, the great work of our 
salvation, if we only yield to his 
Spirit, and do not resist him wilfully, 
as did the refractory Jews of old; to 
whom the apostle says : " It was ne- 
cessary that the word of God should 
first have been spoken to you : but see- 
ing ye put it from you, and judge your- 
selves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, 
we turn to the Gentiles." Acts 13 : 46. 
It is, therefore, our duty to take the 
advice of the physician, after the 
manner of the sick, and to obey his 
precepts and prescriptions. As the 
physician first explains the nature of 
the disease, so the Lord lays open the 
spiritual disease of the heart, and 
then, as a faithful physician, warns us 



Chap. XXXV.] 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



113 



against hurtful things, lest the healing 
virtue of the precious blood of Christ 
be obstructed, and at last rendered in- 
effectual. 

15. No sooner does man, by the as- 
sistance of the Holy Ghost, withdraw 
from sin, than the grace of God be- 
gins to operate in him, and to endue 
him with new gifts. Without this, he 
is not sufficient to think any good 
thought of himself, much less to do 
any good work. Whenever such a 
person discovers any good motions 



arising in his mind, he attributes 
every good desire to divine grace, even 
as St. Paul says, " By the grace of 
God I am what I am." 1 Cor. 15 : 10. 
Whoever, therefore, complies with this 
order of salvation, to him the merit 
of Christ and his perfect obedience, 
are fully imputed, as if he himself had 
made a complete atonement for all his 
transgressions; but no wicked person, 
and no contemner of this dispensation, 
has a share in the imputation of the 
merit of Christ. 

16. God, when he works in us and 



through us, crowns and commends 
those things as our own, of which he 
himself is the chief author. " With- 
out me," saith Christ, u ye can, do no- 
thing " (John 15 : 5); that is, no good; 
for by nature we are ready enough to 
do evil without him. The doing of 
evil is our own property; as the doing 
of good is entirely the property of 
God. Therefore let no flesh glory in 
anything; all is of and through grace. 
Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2 : 8, 9. 

17. Happy is the man that refrains 
from sin, and gives up his will to the 
Lord. Christ uses all his endeavors 
to gain our love and affections, and to 
wean us more and more from the pro- 
fane love of the world. He applies the 
most endearing expressions, in his 
word, and in his addresses, to our 
hearts. He seeks and allures us; and 
even before we remember him, he be- 
stows upon us tokens of his love and 
kindness; and this for no other end, 
than that we might at last forsake our 
beloved sin, and partake of the blessed 
effect of his blood and merits 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

ALL WISDOM, ARTS, AND SCIENCES, YEA, EVEN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WHOLE, 
SCRIPTURE, ARE VAIN, WITHOUT A HOLY AND CHRISTIAN LIFE. 

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven ; hut he that 
doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. — Matth. 7 : 21. 



SINCE in Love are contained all the 
duties of a Christian, and since the 
whole life of Christ was nothing but 
the purest and most cordial love, there- 
fore St. Paul, under the name of char- 
ity or love, has comprehended the 
whole life of a Christian. 1 Cor. 13 : 1. 
2. It is the property of true love, to 



respect God alone in everything, and 
not self. It refers all to God ; it does 
not love or honor self; it is not intent 
upon personal glory or interest; but 
it undertakes everything with a free 
and disinterested regard to God and 
man. He who is endued with Chris- 
tian love, loves God and his neighbor 



8 



114 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



with pure affection, because God is the 
sovereign Good, to which we ought to 
adhere. 

3. Whoever, therefore, is destitute 
of this love, must of necessity prove a 
hypocrite amidst all his pretences and 
boasts. In whatever he undertakes, 
he seeks himself, and not purely God, 
as he ought to do. For this reason, 
his love is false, be his boasts what 
they may. If such a man had all the 
Scriptures committed to memory, and 
could speak of them with the tongue 
of angels, yet would he still prove as 
sounding brass, without life and mo- 
tion. For as no natural food can 
nourish the body, unless it be converted 
into the juices and the blood; so also 
the Word and the Sacraments are un- 
availing, if they be not converted into 
a man's life ; and if a new, spiritual, 
and holy man, be not begotten thereby. 

4. Hence St. Paul says, " Though I 
have the gift of prophecy, and under- 
stand all mysteries, and all knowledge, 
and though I have all faith, so that I 
could remove mountains, and have not 
charity, I am nothing." 1 Cor. 13 : 2. 
As if he had said, If I pursue mine own 
honor by those gifts and attainments, 
and seek anything besides the honor 
of God, and the good of my neighbor, 
then I am an abomination before the 
Lord, and not at all acceptable in his, 
sight. 

5. This is intimated by that saying 
of our Lord : " Many will say to me in 
that day, Lord, Lord, have we not 
prophesied in thy name, and in thy 
name have cast out devils, and in thy 
name done many wonderful works ? 
And then will I profess unto them, I 
never knew you; depart from me, ye 
that work iniquity " (Matt. 7 : 22, 23): 
for you have not respected me alone 
in what you have done, but rather 
your own selves. 



6. This is again attested by St. Paul : 
" Though I bestow all my goods to 
feed the poor, and have not charity, it 
profiteth me nothing." 2 Cor. 13 : 3. 
But can it be possible (some may say), 
to give all to the poor, and yet be des- 
titute at the same time of love or 
charity? Yes; there may be a love 
which is not altogether single in what 
it performs, but biassed by impure de- 
signs, and by some temporal interest, 
or the applause of men, or any such 
selfish objects, whereby the best of ac- 
tions are too often corrupted. Of this 
nature was the charity of the Phar- 
isees of old, who offered abundance 
of sacrifices, and persuaded others to 
adorn the temple with magnificent 
gifts, and to bring sacrifices of great 
price. But whilst they suffered them- 
selves to be led away by pride and 
ambition, which mingled with their 
very worship, they forgot to show 
mercy to the poor, and to practise 
that " undefiled religion," whereby the 
fatherless and the widows are to be 
supported and visited. James 1 : 27. 
For this preposterous charity, the Lord 
reproved them, saying: " Woe unto 
you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! 
for ye devour widows' houses, and for 
a pretence make long prayer : there- 
fore ye shall receive the greater dam- 
nation." Matt. 23:14. In this perverse 
religion they have many followers, 
even at this time. Such are those who 
bequeath large legacies to temples and 
monasteries, that priests and friars 
who enjoy them, may make long 
prayers for such as bestow them. This 
truly is a false and deceitful love; for 
those who perform these acts, do not 
so much regard the honor of God as 
their own. 

7. He that is justified, shall live by 
his faith (Habak. 2:4); and whoso- 
ever is thus justified, lives in true re- 



Chap. XXXV.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



115 



pentance, and by daily mortification 
of his flesh, becomes himself a sacri- 
fice unto the Lord. Eom. 12 : 1. He 
spends his time in continual acts of 
love and charity; flowing from a dis- 
interested principle, free from self- 
honor and self-love, and entirely di- 
rected to advancing the glory of God. 
Therefore, O man, if thou even yield- 
est thy body to be burnt, and yet art 
void at the same time of this pure and 
sincere love, thou doest nothing in all 
such performances. And what do they 
profit themselves, who torture their 
bodies ? They generally are puffed up 
with a conceit of their singular sanc- 
tity, and, thus setting forth their own 
pompous religion and will-worship, 
they do not regard God in what they 
do, so much as catch at the applause 
of men. Isa. 58 : 3 ; Zech. 7:5,6. Nay, 
some are blinded to such a degree by 
the spirit of delusion and error, as to 
suffer themselves to be burnt in de- 
fence of conceits such as these. They 
expect thereby to be enrolled in the 
list of such martyrs as were slain for 
the sake of Christ and the Gospel; 
when in truth they seek not Christ, 
but themselves, and rise not to defend 
his honor, but their own erroneous 
opinions. This is called by St. Paul, a 
strong delusion, and a working of Satan. 
2 Thess. 2 : 9, 11. It is not the punish- 
ment, but the cause, which makes a 
martyr. 

8. Such martyrs as these the devil 
has had even amongst the heathens 
themselves ; many of whom were so 
far blinded in their understandings, as 
contentedly to die for the defence of 
their idols, and false, heathenish re- 
ligion. And is not the same done at 



this day amongst those who call them- 
selves Christians ? Even as the heath- 
ens, to gain an immortal name, per- 
suaded themselves that they did well 
in what they endured, so self-love and 
vainglory have so far besotted some 
monks, and other persons even in our 
age, as that they have murdered kings 
and princes, to support the better their 
church, or the Catholic cause, as they 
call it, which they supposed to be in 
danger. If such men are made to suf- 
fer again, it is manifest that they do 
not suffer for the sake of Christ, nor 
are they to be accounted his martyrs. 
They are martyrs to the pope of Eome, 
to their own conceit, and to a thirst 
after vainglory, with which they are 
carried away. Thus much concerning 
false love, to which man is seduced 
by a false and deceitful light. 

9. It remains, therefore, that with- 
out a sincere love to God and our 
neighbor, and a holy and Christian 
life attending it, all arts and sciences, 
gifts and attainments, profit nothing. 
Wisdom, how great soever it may be, 
yea, though it be as great, or greater 
than that of Solomon, is nothing ; and 
the knowledge of the whole Scripture, 
if it be without love, must necessarily 
degenerate into a poor, empty specu- 
lation. All works whatsoever, and 
martyrdom itself (if so it be called), 
are to no purpose without this essen- 
tial character of love. For to know 
the will of God and his word, and not 
to live up to them as a rule, only in- 
creases our condemnation, as the Lord 
plainly affirms : "If I had not come 
and spoken unto them, they had not 
had sin ; but now they have no cloak 
for their sin." John 15 : 22. 



116 



TBUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



CHAPTER XXXYI. 



HE WHO DOES NOT LIVE IN CHRIST, BUT GIVES HIS HEART TO THE WORLD, HAS 
ONLY THE OUTWARD LETTER OF THE SCRIPTURES, BUT HE DOES NOT EX- 
PERIENCE THEIR POWER, OR EAT OF THE HIDDEN MANNA. 

To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, 
and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receivelh it. — 
Key. 2 : 17. 



BY this Scripture we are taught, 
that no man can taste the inward 
sweetness of heavenly joy and com- 
fort hidden in the Word, who does not 
first vanquish his own flesh and the 
world, with all the pomps and lusts 
thereof, and the devil himself. But 
those that crucify their flesh daily, 
with all its desires and lusts, by serious 
contrition and repentance, who die 
daily to themselves and to the world, 
and to whom this life is a cross and 
affliction ; these are divinely fed with 
the heavenly manna, and drink the 
wine of the joy of paradise. Those, 
on the other hand, that love the pleas- 
ures of this world rather than those 
of heaven, render themselves alto- 
gether unfit to taste the hidden manna, 
preserved for him alone that over- 
cometh. The reason is, because like 
things (according to the proverb) re- 
joice in their like; and things of a con- 
trary nature do not unite one with 
another. Since, therefore, the word 
of God is spiritual, it is no wonder 
that worldly minds take no pleasure 
in it. For as the body receives no 
strength from the food which the 
stomach does not digest j so the soul 
receives no strength from the divine 
word, unless it be entirely converted 
into itself, that is, into its own life and 
nature. 

2. Yea, as a man that is sick of a fever 



acquires a distempered appetite, and 
deems the coarsest trash more pleasant 
than wholesome food; so those that 
are sick of a spiritual fever, that is, 
of the love of the world, of pride and 
covetousness, loathe the good word of 
God as bitter and insipid food. Those, 
on the other hand, that have the Spirit 
of God, find in it a hidden manna, and 
a secret sweetness, which transcends 
all other delights ; but then it is not to 
be tasted by such as are carried away 
with the pleasures of a profane world. 
3. Many hear the glad tidings of the 
Gospel repeatedly, and yet are but 
little affected with what they hear. 
They do not feel any fervency of spirit, 
any sense of spiritual joy. The cause 
is plain; they are not led by the good 
Spirit of God, but by the corrupt spirit 
of the world; nor have they heavenly, 
but earthly minds, which cannot re- 
ceive the things of God. Whoever, 
therefore, wishes to obtain a sound 
understanding in spiritual matters, to 
feel the power of the word of God, and 
to eat of the hidden manna, ought by 
all means to conform his life to the 
word which he reads, and to the life 
of Christ which is set before him. It 
is then that the Lord feeds the humble 
with grace (1 Pet. 5 : 5), satisfies the 
meek with his love, and supports the 
patient with his comfort; rendering 
his yoke pleasant, and his burden light 



Chap. XXXVI.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



117 



unto them. For the sweetness of this 
heavenly manna cannot be tasted ex- 
cept under the yoke of Christ, accord- 
ing to the promise of the Lord : " He 
hath filled the hungry with good 
things, and the rich he hath sent 
empty away." Luke 1 : 53. 

4. "The words that I speak unto 
you," saith the Lord, "they are spirit 
and they are life." John 6 : 63. Whence 
it follows, that a carnal and voluptu- 
ous man, who has no spiritual under- 
standing or taste, cannot possibly per- 
ceive or relish the words of Christ. 
These must be apprehended in spirit, 
and in an inward tranquillity of mind, 
attended with great humility and fer- 
vent desires after God. In this order, 
the Word of God must be received and 
digested, if ever it is to afford a vital 
nourishment to the soul; which, if it 
be neglected, then truly the Word is 
no more than an empty sound, and an 
external letter. As a man that hears 
the sound of a harp, and understands 
not its melody, receives no pleasure 
from it; so no man can perceive the 
virtue hidden in the Word, unless he 
endeavor to express it in his life, and 
thoroughly to conform himself to it in 
his spirit. 

5. For this reason, the Lord says: 
" I will give him a white stone, and in 
the stone a new name written, which 
no man knoweth, saving he that re- 
ceiveth it." 

6. This is the testimony of the hid- 
den Spirit, who witnesses to the di- 
vine Word : and in like manner, the 
Spirit of the Word gives testimony to 
our spirit (Eom. 8 : 16), whence both 
unite, and so become one spirit. 1 Cor. 
6 : 17. This is that new name, which 
no man knoweth but he that hath it. 
As no man perceives the sweetness of 
honey, but he that tastes it; so the 
name of this divine testimony, written 



in the hearts of good souls, no man 
knoweth but he that possesses it. He 
only understands the nature of heav- 
enly comfort, and of divine visita- 
tions, who really tastes them. This 
name and testimony are called new, 
because they are the blessed effect of 
the new birth, and come from above. 

7. Blessed is the man to whom God 
thus gives himself to be tasted! Thus 
were the prophets of old fed with 
this heavenly bread, and sustained by 
the eternal Word proceeding from 
God, and communicating itself unto 
them. This made their tongues so 
free and so ready in the delivery of 
the divine oracles. And from this in- 
ward sense, with which they were so 
powerfully affected, the Holy Scrip- 
ture has been derived, and handed 
down to us for our edification. 

8. Even at this day, God does not 
cease still to speak unto all men, and 
inwardly to feed them with his Word: 
but alas! most men have shut their 
ears against his voice, and will rather 
hear the world than God, and follow 
their own lusts, than the motions of 
the good Spirit of God. They cannot 
eat of the hidden manna, because they 
greedily adhere to their carnal pro- 
pensities, and contemn the tree of life, 
with the fruit thereof. 

9. But surely such men are awfully 
blinded, since they will not understand 
that God can afford infinitely greater 
pleasures than this world is capable 
of imparting. He that has once tasted 
the goodness of God, will esteem the 
whole world, together with its most 
exquisite pleasures, to be nothing but 
gall and bitterness. Our first parents 
were beguiled by the world; and by 
eating of the forbidden tree, they 
brought no less an evil upon them- 
selves than death itself: and yet we 
are so much besotted with the pleas- 



118 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



ures of this world, as to follow freely 
their steps, and to obey the forbidden 
lusts of the flesh, which cause our 
death. Rom. 8 : 13. 

10. Christ says: "If any shall eat 
of me," the true tree, and the true 
bread of life, "he shall live for ever." 
John 6 : 51. And what is it to eat of 
him, but to believe in him, to rejoice 
in him, to delight in him, and to rest 
and to take pleasure in nothing but 
him alone? The world bestows poor 
and inconsiderable wages, and yet it 
is served with great labor and earnest- 
ness; whereas God grants an eternal 
and never-fading reward; and yet 
with what sluggishness, coldness, and 
backwardness is his service per- 
formed! How few there" are, who ad- 
here to God with as much care and 
faith, devotion and obedience, as pro- 
fane worldlings do to mammon, and 
the world ! We see them often take 
long and tedious journeys for a little 
money; but for the sake of heaven, it 
grieves them to move even a foot. 

11. In all classes men seek and love 
the world more than they regard God. 
Many a scholar studies day and night 
to attain preferment and honor, who 
will hardly take time to say the Lord's 
Prayer for the good of his soul. The 
men who avoid no labor to get the 
bread that perishes, will undergo none 
to procure that which is incorruptible. 
There are many who fear no difficulty, 
flee from no danger, and, in an earthly 
warfare, stare even death in the face; 
influenced by no other motive than to 
gain a little fleeting fame, or at best, 
to be ranked among nobles and heroes: 
whereas there is hardly one to be found 
that will enter into a combat with the 
corrupt propensities of his flesh, al- 
though this is the way to obtain a king- 
dom in heaven. We see the victors 
of many nations, and the subduers of 



vast kingdoms, who little care to over- 
come themselves. There are large 
numbers who do not regard the loss 
of their immortal souls, if they can but 
gain the perishing goods of this world. 
All these, certainly, have not tasted 
the hidden manna of the divine Word; 
for they do not overcome the world, 
but are themselves overcome by it. 
Whosoever will taste the sweetness 
of this heavenly manna, must, for the 
sake of the love of God, despise the 
world, and overcome it. When he 
complies with these terms, he is re- 
freshed again with that comfort of the 
Holy Ghost, which no man knows save 
he that receives it. 

12. This, therefore, must be done. 
The tree of life must first be planted 
in us, before we can eat of its fruit : 
and the heart that wishes to be quick- 
ened with heavenly comforts, ought 
first to be truly converted from the 
world to God. But we, being intoxi- 
cated with worldly pleasures, do not 
see that the joys of heaven are far 
more excellent than all that this world 
affords. That which God gives, is in- 
finitely more true and more substantial 
than all which the creature can bestow. 
And that teaching which comes from 
above, through the inspiration of the 
divine Spirit, is far more noble and 
solid than that which is conveyed to 
us by man's understanding, and im- 
printed on the mind with much toil 
and labor. The flowers and fruits 
which are the productions of nature 
are nobler and better than those which 
are fashioned of the finest gold by the 
hand of art; even so, one drop of di- 
vine consolation is more satisfactory, 
and incomparably better, than a whole 
ocean of worldly lust and pleasure. 

13. Whenever, therefore, thou de- 
sirest to taste any heavenly comfort, 
withdraw thy heart from the joys of 



Chap. XXXVT.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



119 



this world. As if the Lord were to 
say, " If any will understand me, let 
him seriously attend to what I say ; if 
any will see me, it surely behooves him 
to fix his eye upon me alone." Who 
can doubt but that our heart and 
senses, and all the faculties of our 
souls ought to be converted to God, 
and fixed on him alone, if ever we 
desire to see, hear, and understand 
God; nay, to taste him and his good- 
ness ? For thus he expresses himself 
in the Prophet: "When ye shall 
search for me with your whole heart, 
ye shall find me." Jer. 29 : 13. 

14. Many at this day are held in 
great admiration on a very light ac- 
count. Oh ! a learned man ! (they say), 
a rich man ! a great man ! a wise man ! 
But scarcely any regard how meek, 
how humble, how patient, or how de- 
vout any man is. Of this perverse 
judgment, there is no other cause, than 
that the people of this world only ad- 
mire the exterior of a man, and pass 
by what is within the mind, which 
alone is worthy to be esteemed and 
valued. Let him that praises a man 
because he is a great traveller, and has 
seen many cities and countries, con- 
sider whether it be not far better to 
have seen God. Let him that admires 
another, because he has served several 
monarchs, and attended on emperors, 
kings, and princes, tell us whether it 
be not far more excellent to be the 
servant of God, to wait on the King 
of Heaven, to hear Him speak in the 
heart, and to serve Him faithfully? 
Many who enjoy nothing but the 
things of this world, will say, "We 
have abundance of learned men and 
great scholars in this age; arts and 
sciences are greatly advanced among 
us." But such men as these, do not 
know the art of arts, the science of 
sciences, which is divine Love ; a ben- 



efit preferable to all other knowledge 
and learning, but which seems to be 
almost wholly extinct in this degener- 
ate age, together with faith itself, that 
produces it. The number of those 
that are in truth divinely " taught of 
God," is apparently but small (Isa. 
54 : 13) ; and so of those that care to 
be instructed in the humble and meek 
life of Christ. Matt. 11 : 29. Yea, to 
speak plainly, there are among the 
most learned at this day, some who 
are, perhaps, the most alienated from 
the life of God, and know but little of 
that truth which is in Jesus. They 
are those who confine knowledge to 
words and terms artfully contrived; 
when indeed solid erudition and learn- 
ing consist not in words, but in things, 
and in a real and eternal wisdom. 
Upon the whole, whoever calls this 
world a wicked world, is not mistaken 
in his judgment. 

15. Others will praise a man, be- 
cause he keeps a rich and plentiful 
table, and fares sumptuously every 
day; but they do not consider that 
the very crumbs dropping from God's 
table, are transcendently better than 
the choicest dishes of the wealthy and 
greedy; and that the hidden manna, 
and the incorruptible bread descend- 
ing from heaven, and prepared by 
the Lord himself, afford the most sa- 
vory and most delicious food for nour- 
ishing the soul. Ps. 23 : 5. 

16. Whoever enjoys God and his 
Word, is disgusted at nothing, and 
nothing can displease him ; for he en- 
joys God in all. But what can delight, 
him, who does not taste the sweetness 
of God, and the goodness of his Word ? 
God alone is the joy of the soul. He 
infinitely surpasses all earthly joy and 
transient mirth. He is the eternal 
Light, which incomparably exceeds alL 
created lights. May he be pleased to- 



120 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



influence our hearts with his hidden 
pleasure ! May he purify our spirits, 
and all the faculties of our souls ! May 
he enlighten and quicken, correct and 
revive all that is within us ! And, O ! 
when shall that glorious hour appear, 
in which the Lord will satiate us with 
his presence, and replenish us with all 
that he himself is ! Isa. 55 : 12. 

17. But as we are not yet prepared 
for so transcendent a joy, so we cannot 
partake of it, while we are confined to 
this state of imperfection. Let us, 
therefore, be content with the crumbs 
of comfort which fall from the Lord's 
table, and patiently wait for that time, 
wherein we shall be refreshed with his 
joy for evermore ! 

18. Hear the words of our blessed 
Saviour : " Behold, I stand at the door, 
and knock; if any man hear my voice, 
and open the door, I will come in to 
him, and will sup with him, and he 
with me/' Eev. 3 : 20. Is it not, then, 
a foolish thing to slight so great a fa- 
vor, and to treat contemptuously the 
King of kings, who, like a heavenly 
guest, comes to see thee ? Is it not dis- 
graceful to let a friend stand knocking 
without, and refuse to admit a man to 
thy presence, who has nothing at heart 
but thy welfare ? How unaccountable 
then must it be to debar the great 
God from thy heart, who stands in no 
need of thy presents; but, after the 
manner of princes, brings his own 
royal dainties with him when he ap- 
proaches the house of a poor subject ! 
He will feed thee with heavenly bread, 
and with that hidden manna which is 
preserved for those that overcome. 

19. When the Lord says, " Hear 
my voice, and open the door," he com- 
pares, as it were, the heart of a man 
to a house full of noise and clamor, 
where music, though ever so sweet 
iänd melodious, cannot be heard. So 



the voice of the divine Yisitor cannot 
enter a profane heart, whilst it is hur- 
ried about with the cares and desires 
of this world. Such a heart closes 
the door against this Yisitor, and con- 
sequently cannot taste the sweetness 
of the celestial manna. But when this 
noise and tumult cease, it is then that 
4hese secret whispers are best per- 
ceived in men. And O ! that thou, 
with Samuel, couldest answer: " Speak 
Lord, for thy servant heareth." 1 Sam. 
3:10. 

20. The truth of this internal, spir- 
itual, and heavenly supper is also at- 
tested elsewhere. The apostle speaks 
of some, that " have been once en- 
lightened, and tasted of the heavenly 
gift, and have been made partakers of 
the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the 
good word of God, and the powers of 
the world to come." Heb. 6:4. By 
this we are taught, that in whomso- 
ever the Holy Ghost freely resides, 
there the virtues and powers of the 
world to come are also tasted. It is 
then that the soul feeds on that man- 
na, which is hid in the gracious Word 
proceeding out of the mouth of God, 
and by which all the saints live. 

21. The efficacy of this living Word 
was also tasted by the royal prophet, 
through the Holy Ghost, when he 
burst forth into these words : " In thy 
presence is fulness of joy j at thy right 
hand there are pleasures for ever- 
more." Ps. 16 : 11. From this lively 
sense, he also invited others to an en- 
joyment of the same sweetness, say- 
ing, " O taste and see that the Lord 
is good. There is no want to them 
that fear him." Ps. 34 : 8, 9. Of the 
plenty and dignity of this heavenly 
banquet, he hath thus expressed him- 
self: "Thou preparest a table before 
me in the presence of mine enemies : 
thou anointest my head with oil ; my 



Chap. XXXVL] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



121 



cup runneth over." Ps. 23 : 5. " Thy 
loving kindness is better than life." Ps. 
63 : 3. " They shall be abundantly sat- 
isfied with the fatness of thy house ; 
and thou shalt make them drink of 
the river of thy pleasures." Ps. 36 : 8. 
And lastly, " Let all those that seek 
thee, rejoice and be glad in thee j and 
let such as love thy salvation, say con- 
tinually, Let God be magnified. But I 
am poor and needy; make haste unto 
me, O God : thou art my help and my 
deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying." 
Ps. 70 : 4, 5. 

22. From all these, and many other 
places besides, it may abundantly be 
known who those are that are in- 
wardly fed with the good Word of 
God, and with the hidden manna of 
the world to come; even those that 
are poor in spirit, who entirely rely on 
divine comfort. These only are wor- 
thy to taste of this heavenly manna, 
and of the divine gift, of which David 
speaks at large: "How amiable," says 
he, "are thy tabernacles, O Lord of 
hosts ! My soul longeth, yea, even 
fainteth for the courts of the Lord; 
my heart and my flesh crieth out for 
the living God." Ps. 84 : 1, 2. By this 
ScrirHure we may understand, that the 
least pleasure of the world to come, 
infinitely exceeds all the joys of this 
world ; and that one day passed there, 
is far more excellent than a thousand 
years here. Whoever has tasted these 
exquisite pleasures, will discard the 
things of this life, as empty and insipid. 
The whole world becomes a burden, a 
trouble and vexation of spirit, to such 
a person. He is like one that is ac- 
customed to delicious fare, and conse- 
quently cannot partake of what is 
coarse. 

23. This is so sacred a hunger and 
thirst, that none but God alone can 
satisfy it, and he only, by his love. 



This is that spiritual fulness with 
which the saints are satiated, accord- 
ing to the words : " Eat, O friends, 
drink, yea, drink abundantly, O be- 
loved." Song of Sol. 5 : 1. These spir- 
itual enjoyments the Lord bestows on 
his friends, in order to unite them the 
more closely to himself, and to make 
them the sooner forget the perishing 
things of this world. A few crumbs 
of this bread, a few drops pressed from 
this heavenly vine, ought to excite our 
desires after that plentiful and abound- 
ing fountain, which shall flow for us 
hereafter. 

24. In order that the Lord might 
excite in us so sacred a thirst, and that 
he might make us long the more ear- 
nestly after such heavenly objects as 
these, it was expedient that he should 
first himself thirst upon the cross for 
our sakes. John 19 : 28. As he him- 
self satisfies and quenches our hunger 
and thirst, so ought we again to sati- 
ate his thirst and ardent desire of 
loving. He more fervently thirsts 
after us, than we do after him ; accord- 
ing to that which he hath himself de- 
clared : " My meat is to do the will of 
him that sent me, and to finish his 
work " (John 4 : 34): and the will of 
God was, to save men from everlasting 
destruction. If we but thirsted after 
him as he thirsts after us, we should 
then drink so plentifully of his Spirit, 
that even " rivers of living water 
would flow from our bodies " (John 
7 : 38) : that is, nothing should be seen 
in us, but what is spiritual, lovely, and 
consolatory. Nay, he would make us 
overflow, as it were, with a torrent of 
divine goodness and consolation, so 
that soul and body, and all that is 
within us, should triumphantly rejoice 
in the living God. For nothing is of 
so great and so divine an amplitude as 
a man's soul, after it has gained true 



122 



TEXTE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



freedom and liberty. Such a soul com- 
prehends God, 
And aa'! 



nothing 



heaven, and earth, 
is less than a 



man's soul in its nothingness and 
humiliation, when it humbles itself 
under God and all his creatures. 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

HE WHO DOES NOT FOLLOW CHRIST IN FAITH, HOLINESS, AND CONTINUED RE- 
PENTANCE, CANNOT BE DELIVERED FROM THE BLINDNESS OF HIS HEART, BUT 
MUST ABIDE IN ETERNAL DARKNESS ; AND HE CANNOT HAVE A TRUE KNOWL- 
EDGE OF CHRIST, OR FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM. 



God is lig%t, and in him is no darkness at all : if we say we have fellowship with him, and walk 
in darkness, vie lie, and do not the truth : bid if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we 
have fellowship one with another. — 1 John 1 : 5-7. 



THAT we may the better under- 
stand the nature of light and 
darkness, it is necessary first to give 
heed to the description of the light, 
as it is originally. 

2. " God is light," saith St. John. 
But what is God? God is a spiritual, 
eternal, and infinite Being; God is al- 
mighty, merciful, gracious, righteous, 
holy, true, and the only wise God. 
God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
is unspeakable love and faithfulness; 
He is one in three Persons; He is the 
Sovereign Good, and good essentially. 
And this is the true and everlasting 

o 

light. Whence every one that departs 
from God, from his love, his mercy, 
his righteousness, and his truth, de- 
parts also from light itself, and must 
consequently fall into darkness; for 
without God there is nothing but ever- 
lasting darkness. O how dark, there- 
fore, is that soul in which God doth 
not dwell ! Now if God be light, then 
the devil must certainly be darkness; 
and if God be love, then the devil must 
be nothing but hatred and wrath, en- 
mity and envy, malice and uncharit- 
ableness, sin and wickedness. Who- 



ever, therefore, turns himself to sin, 
turns himself to darkness and to the 
devil. Neither can he be delivered, 
till he turn back again, from darkness 
to light, from sin to righteousness, 
from vice to virtue, from the devil to 
God. Acts 26: 18. And this is the work 
of a true and living faith which purifies 
the heart. Acts 15 : 9. For he who 
believes in Christ, daily repents and 
turns from sin and the devil to Christ 
Jesus. For even as Adam by sin turned 
himself from God to the devil, so we 
ought to withdraw again, by true re- 
pentance and faith, from the devil to 
God. 

3. Hence it follows that man, with- 
out being converted from sin to God, 
can never be truly enlightened. " For 
what communion hath light with dark- 
ness ?" 2 Cor. 6 : 14. Impiety and im- 
penitence are wholly darkness, and, 
consequently, can have no fellowship 
with the light of the knowledge of 
Christ. So that it is absolutely im- 
possible that those should be enlight- 
ened by the Spirit, and the light of 
eternal truth, who live in darkness 
and impenitence. To this purpose, 



Chap. XXXVII.] 



TKUE CHEISTIANITT. 



123 



St. Paul says concerning the Jews: 
"When they shall turn to the Lord, 
the vail shall be taken away " (2 Cor. 
3 : 16); that is, their darkness, blind- 
ness, and ignorance shall be removed, 
and Christ shall give them light. 

4. The greatest blindness, or thick- 
est darkness that covers the minds of 
men, is the sin of unbelief, with the 
fruits resulting from it; such as pride, 
avarice, wrath, and the whole train of 
sensual lusts and pleasures. Wherever 
these take possession of a man, it is 
impossible that he should know Christ, 
the true Light of the world; much less 
can he savingly believe in him, trust 
in him, and obtain by him everlasting 
life. 

5. For how should that man know 
the humility of the heart of Christ, 
w r hose own heart abounds w T ith pride 
and high-mindedness? How should he 
be acquainted with the meekness of 
the heart of Christ, who is full of bit- 
ter wrath and envy? How should he 
understand his marvellous patience, 
who delights in revenge, and is hur- 
ried about with a multitude of unruly 
passions? But he who does not un- 
derstand the humility, meekness, and 
patience of Christ, does not know 
Christ himself, nor believe in his holy 
name. For truly, if ever thou de- 
sirest to attain a sound knowledge of 
Christ, thou must obtain, by faith, the 
same heart which is in Christ; thou 
must experimentally perceive in thy 
heart, his meekness, his patience, and 
his humility. It is then that thy 
knowledge becomes solid and substan- 
tial. As a fruit is known by the taste, 
so Christ, the tree of life, is known by 
tasting. Whenever thou tastest by 
faith the humility of Christ, his meek- 
ness, and his patience, thou then eat- 
est of his fruit, and shalt find rest for 
thy soul. Thou enjoyest in Christ the 



favor and consolation of God. This 
is the only way to true rest and tran- 
quillity of mind. For the grace and 
comfort of God cannot enter into a 
heart that is void of faith, and desti- 
tute of the meekness and humility of 
Christ. It is to the humble that God 
gives grace. 1 Pet. 5 : 5. 

6. But how is it possible that Christ 
should profit a man who does not de- 
sire to have the least fellowship with 
him ? For, in truth, all those that 
live in the darkness of sin, have no 
fellowship with Christ, be their pre- 
tences what they will. For thus says 
St. John: "If we say that we have 
fellowship with him, and walk in 
darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. 
But if we walk in the light, as he is 
in the light, we have fellowship one 
with another/' Uohnl:6, 7. And in 
the following chapter he explains it 
more fully: "The darkness is past, 
and the true light now shineth. He 
that s&ith he is in the light, and hateth 
his brother, is in darkness even until 
now. He that loveth his brother, 
abideth in the light, and there is no 
occasion of stumbling in him. But 
he that hateth his brother, is in dark- 
ness, and walketh in darkness, and 
knoweth not whither he goeth, be- 
cause that darkness hath blinded his 
eyes." 1 John 2:8-11. 

7. As long, then, as a man continues 
in that dark and terrible cloud of sin, 
it is impossible that he should be en- 
lightened by Christ, the true Light of 
the world, and be thereby brought to 
a saving knowledge of God. Who- 
ever will attain to a true knowledge 
of God and Christ, must firmly be- 
lieve that God is nothing but grace 
and love. Now, no man can know 
what love is, but he that has, and 
practises it, the knowledge of a thing 
being the result of a man's experi- 



124 



TKUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



ence, of his feelings, and of the works 
of truth which he performs. Who- 
ever, therefore, does not exercise love 
(whatever words he may use about it), 
continues an utter stranger to the na- 
ture of love; and what he is pleased 
to call love, is nothing but show and 
pretence. And as Christ himself is 
nothing but love and humility, meek- 
ness and patience, and every true vir- 
tue, so a man that is not frequent in 
the performance of these and the like 
virtues, is altogether ignorant of 
Christ and of the truth. He is but a 
superficial pretender to, and a vain 
usurper of, His holy name, let his 
boasts be what they may. The Word 
of God is nothing but spirit. Who- 
ever, therefore, does not live and walk 
in the Spirit, in no wise understands 
what the Word of God is, though he 
may dispute and argue copiously 
about it. How shall a man tell us 
what love is, who never performed 
any act of love ? How shall a man 
give an account of the nature of light, 
who, having been constantly confined 
to a dark dungeon, has never seen the 
light himself? Now, the light in man 
is faith and charity, according to the 
saying of Christ : "Let your light so 
shine before men, that they may see 
your good works, and glorify your 
Father which is in heaven." Matt. 
5 : 16. 

8. In a word, the holy life of Christ 
is nothing but love and charity. No 
sooner do we, by faith, learn from him 
true love and humility, meekness and 
patience, as he himself has engaged 
us to do, than we are transformed into 
his image, and enlightened with that 
true and eternal light, which he him- 
self is; according to that exhortation 
of St. Paul : " Awake thou that sleep- 
est (namely, in sins and the lust of the 
flesh), and arise from the dead, and 



Christ shall give thee light." Eph. 
5:14. 

9. From all this it follows, that in 
the case of as many as do not awake 
from their spiritual lethargy, that is, 
from the lust of the eyes, the lust 
of the flesh, the pride of life, and 
other pleasures that attend them, 
their souls cannot be enlightened by 
Christ, since they love darkness rather 
than light, and thereby unfit them- 
selves for a reception of the divine 
light. 

10. It also hence appears that those, 
on the other hand, who truly embrace 
the life of Christ, and follow him in 
faith, are by him graciously enlight- 
ened, according to his promise : " I am 
the light of the world : he that fol- 
loweth me (in faith and love, hope and 
patience, meekness and humility, fear 
of God, and in prayer, etc.) shall not 
walk in darkness, but shall have the 
light of life." John 8 : 12. Therefore, 
the true followers of Christ, and these 
only, freely enjoy the light of life, and 
are alone endued with true illumina- 
tion and sound knowledge of Christ. 
And it is on account of this Christian 
faith and life, that true believers are 
called by the Apostle, a light in the 
Lord. " Ye were," saith he, " some- 
time darkness, but now are ye light in 
the Lord " (Eph. 5:8): here he means 
the principle of faith, and those Chris- 
tian virtues that attend it. And again, 
" Ye are all the children of light, and 
the children of the day: we are not 
of the night, nor of darkness," — " put- 
ting on the breast-plate of faith and 
love, and for a helmet, the hope of 
salvation." 1 Thess. 5 : 5, 8. Christ 
denies that the world (that is, carnal 
and unregenerate minds), can ever 
"receive the Spirit of Truth." John 
14 : 17. 

11. That there might be a perfect 



Chap. XXXVII.] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



125 



and absolute example given to men, 
and a complete idea of virtue and 
goodness, the Son of God became also 
Man, and by his unspotted and holy 
life was made the public Light of the 
■world, that so all men might follow 
him, believe in him, and receive light 
from him. Since, however, false Chris- 
tians own with their lips that Christ 
is the safe and great exemplar of 
virtue, and yet do not follow bim in 
their life and actions, it is manifest, 
that the heathens who esteemed vir- 
tue, put the Christians to shame. The 
most eminent of them, such as Plato, 
Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, have highly 
recommended the study of virtue, and 
freely confessed, that " if virttfe could 
be seen with bodily eyes, it would ap- 
pear fairer, and with a more glorious 
lustre than even the morning star." 
But, truly, none have had a fuller view 
of the beauty of virtue, than those who 
by faith have seen Jesus Christ, that 
unerring pattern of righteousness. 
These are those that have " handled 
the Word of life" (1 John 1 : 1), as St. 
John tells us. And, surely, if heathens 
have been so much absorbed by the 
love of virtue, how much more should 
a Christian love the transcendent 
beauty of Jesus Christ, who is virtue 
itself, and composed of nothing but 
pure love, and unspotted meekness; 
nay, who is God himself? 

12. It was not without cause, there- 
fore, that St. Paul preferred the love 
of Christ to all other knowledge or 
science : and with him we ought to 
pray that we may experimentally 
" know this love of Christ which pass- 
eth knowledge " (Eph. 3 : 19), that so 
we may thereby be " filled with all the 
fulness of God." Now there is no man 
that has the love of Christ in him, but 
he must necessarily also love the hu- 
mility and meekness of Christ, and 



from sincere love to him readily em- 
brace them. By this means he is still 
more and more enlightened, and day 
by day transformed into the image of 
Christ, "as from glory to glory." 2 
Cor. 3 : 18. And the reason of this is 
evident ; for God delights to give grace 
to the humble (1 Peter 5 : 5), as the 
Scripture tells us : agreeably to what 
St. Bernard says, " The rivers of grace 
flow downwards, not upwards." They 
visit and refresh the valley, but will 
not rest upon mountains, or upon any- 
thing that is high and lifted up. 
How should then the grace of the 
light and knowledge of God come to 
a man that walks not in the humble 
and holy light of Christ, but in the 
way of Lucifer ? For if there be any 
faith in us, and if this be attended 
with suitable fruits and practice, it 
will not leave us " barren and unfruit- 
ful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus 
Christ." 2 Peter 1:8. In an humble 
soul Christ lives, and then also his 
Spirit rests upon it (the spirit of wis- 
dom and of understanding, the spirit 
of counsel and might, the spirit of 
knowledge and of the fear of the 
Lord), as truly as it rested upon Christ 
himself. For in whomsoever the light 
and the life of Christ dw T ell, in him is 
also Christ himself, who is the very 
light and life of a Christian. And this 
also is the reason that the gifts and 
graces of the divine Spirit rest upon a 
true Christian, as well as upon Christ 
himself, according to the prophecy of 
Isaiah. Ch. 11 : 1-3. 

13. Hence St. Peter, speaking to the 
Jews, exhorts them to repent (or to be 
renewed in their minds) : " and ye 
shall," says he, " receive the gift of 
the Holy Ghost." Acts 2 : 38. Whence 
it plainly appears, that those who are 
in a state of faith and repentance, are 
the only men duly prepared for re- 



126 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



ceiving the divine Spirit, the true en- 
lightener of hearts. 

14. Whoever, therefore, desires to 
be delivered from the blindness of his 
heart, and from eternal darkness, yea, 
from the devil himself, let him faith- 
fully follow Christ in true faith, in un- 
feigned conversion, and in a thorough 
newness of life. The nearer we are to 
Christ, the nearer we are to the eter- 
nal light; the more closely we adhere 
to unbelief, the more we adhere to 
darkness and to the devil himself. For 
even as Christ, faith, and all the vir- 
tues, are nearly allied and belong to- 
gether, so in like manner, are the devil, 
unbelief, and all the vices, and works 
of darkness, so nearly combined, as to 
render it impossible to conceive of one 
without the other. 

15. Consider the apostles of the 
Lord. They followed their Master in 
faith, in contempt of the world, deny- 
ing themselves, in renouncing their 
possessions, and in living together in 
unity of the Spirit. By this means 
they were enlightened from above, and 
filled with the Holy Ghost. Acts 2 : 
1, etc. With these terms the rich 
young man in the Gospel being un- 
willing to comply, he continued shut 
up in the darkness of the world, and 
was not enlightened unto eternal life. 
Luke 18 : 23. For "if any man love 
the world, the love of the Father is 
not in him." 1 John 2 : 15. And " he 
that hateth his brother is in darkness, 
and knoweth not whither he goeth : 
because that darkness hath blinded 
his eyes." 1 John 2 : 11. 

16. All the sermons of Tauler refer 
to this subject. He makes it appear, 
that without the sincere exercise of 
faith, without a serious course of mor- 
tification, without self-denial, without 
a narrow search into one's own heart, 
and without the inward, calm sabbath 



of the soul, no man can obtain or enjoy 
the divine light. 

17. In short, in proportion as the 
works of darkness are destroyed in a 
man by the Spirit of God, in that pro- 
portion is he illuminated; and again, 
in the same degree as the corrupt na- 
ture, the flesh, and the world, pride, 
and the lust of the eyes, domineer in 
a man, in that degree darkness is left 
in him, and the less of grace, of light, 
of the Spirit of God and of Christ, is 
he possessed of. Therefore it remains, 
that without unfeigned repentance, 
and a daily repentance, no man can be 
truly enlightened from above. 

18. Whoever yields too much to one 
sin, undoubtedly opens a door to many 
others. Sin never comes alone, but, 
like a noxious weed, spreads itself on 
every side, and gains more ground 
every day. And as the darkness be- 
comes greater accordingly as the sun 
retires, so as the holy life of Christ de- 
parts from us, the darkness and sin in- 
crease, till at length the man is swal- 
lowed up in eternal darkness. On the 
contrary, if a man devote himself to 
the practice of one virtue, he gains 
thereby an opportunity of practising 
all the rest in time, and cannot but 
daily proceed from one to another. 
This admirable connection is repre- 
sented by St. Peter as a chain, in 
which all the rings are linked together, 
and none is suffered to separate from 
another. "Add," he says, "to your 
faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowl- 
edge ; and to knowledge, temperance ; 
and to temperance, patience; and to 
patience, godliness; and to godliness, 
brotherly kindness; and to brotherly 
kindness, charity;" superadding one 
virtue continually to another, and 
crowning all at last with this promise : 
" If these things be in you and abound, 
they make you that ye shall neither 



Chap. XXXVIL] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



127 



be barren nor unfruitful in the knowl- 
edge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 
Peter 1 : 5-8. To sum up all in a few 
words : Whoever is not earnestly bent 
on the exercise of such heavenly vir- 
tues as these, certainly knows not 
Christ, and is void of all saving knowl- 
edge : whereas, if a man by faith grow 
in virtue, he also grows in Christ him- 
self. On the contrary, the wrathful, 
the covetous, the proud, the impatient, 
do not grow in Christ, but in the 
devil. 

19. It is the apostle's command, that 
we should grow up "unto a perfect 
man." Eph. 4 : 13. As a child gradu- 
ally grows up to the stature of a per- 
fect man, so a Christian ought daily 
to grow in the practice of faith and 
virtue, till he become a perfect man in 
Christ. But "he that lacketh these 
things is blind, and cannot see afar off, 
and hath forgotten that he was purged 
from his old sins." 2 Pet. 1:9. As 
if the apostle had said: Christ by his 
death has indeed taken away our sins, 
and blotted them out; not that we 
should continue in the service of sin, 
but that, dying to sin, and living to 
Christ, we should show forth the 
fructifying power of the death of 
Christ. Without this order practically 
applied to the mind, it is manifest, 
that the purging away of our old sins, 
and the atonement made for them, 
can profit us nothing. Our sin is 
never forgiven until we entirely quit 
it, repent of it, and embrace Christ 
with an unfeigned belief. If we pre- 
serve but one sin alive, the mortifying 
of all the rest, if that were possible, 
would avail nothing; but we should 
be condemned to eternal death, with- 
out any hope of expiation or forgive- 
ness. Thus, a man may be damned 
for the sin of wrath alone; whereas, 
if he had seriously corrected and 



quitted it, he would have obtained 
pardon not only for that, but even for 
other sins of which he stood guilty. 
But neglecting to do this, he is one of 
those that are "blind," and "he for- 
gets that he was purged from his old 
sins!" 2 Pet. 1 : 9. 

20. By this we are given to under- 
stand the necessity of repentance, and 
a thorough change of life: for ai- 
though Christ died for our sins, and 
abolished them with the price of his 
blood, yet can we never partake of 
that merit, unless we repent. Without 
repentance this precious blood profits 
nothing. And though every man has 
a promise of pardon for his sin through 
the merit of Christ, yet that promise 
belongs not to the unbeliever, nor to 
the impenitent, but to those only who 
truly repent and reform their lives. 
Those sins shall not be remitted, 
which a man will not leave ; but those 
only which he is willing to quit, and 
for which he heartily grieves. And 
here the word of the Lord is verified, 
" The poor have the Gospel preached 
to them;" that is, remission of sin, 
and life everlasting consequent upon 
it. Matt. 11 : 5. Let us suppose a 
man, who, for many years, has been 
the servant of covetousness, after the 
example of Zaccheus; or of lust, as 
Mary Magdalene; or of wrath and 
revenge, as Esau. Let us also sup- 
pose that this man, as soon as he 
heard that either these sins were to 
be entirely left, or that the death and 
blood of Christ would else profit him 
nothing, becomes a true suppliant to 
God, and cries out to him : " Oh God! 
how am I grieved for this! O Lord, 
be merciful, be merciful !" and then 
forms a new resolution, desists from 
his sin, craves pardon and grace, and 
believes in Christ. Then all his former 
offences are, of grace, freely remitted 



128 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



to him. No merit of his own is re- 
garded, but solely the death and the 
blood of Christ shed for him. This is 
the only way in which a returning 
sinner is to obtain mercy. Whereas, 
he that does not fully resolve to 
abandon his former sins, his covetous- 
ness, wrath, usury, pride, lust, etc., 
will hope forever in vain for a remis- 
sion of sin, being condemned to ever- 
lasting confusion and anguish. He 
shall be obliged to satisfy ibr himself 
the justice of God, and yet will never 
be able to perform it. On earth he 
was destitute ofthat faith which puri- 
fies the heart (Acts 15 : 9) ; and so his 
sin and lust, which have not been 
mortified here, shall forever torment 
him there. It is for this reason, that 
St. Paul so earnestly inculcates, "that 
they which do such things, shall not 
inherit the kingdom of God." Gal. 
5:21. And therefore either the loss 
of this heavenly kingdom must cer- 
tainly follow, or the narrow way of 
self-denial must be heartily chosen. 

21. Wherever this unfeigned con- 
version to, and faith in, God, are 
wrought in the soul, there pardon and 
divine grace are freely bestowed. And 
where these are, there is Christ also ; 
without whom no grace can be ob- 
tained. Where Christ is, there are 
likewise his precious merit, and the 
full ransom which he has paid for our 
sins, and which is appropriated to the 
penitent soul. Again, where these are, 
there is righteousness; and with right- 
eousness, is peace ; and with peace, 
sweet serenity of conscience. It is 
then, that righteousness and peace kiss 



each other in the soul. Ps. 85 : 10. 
This clearness of conscience is attended 
with the Spirit of God himself; who 
being a Spirit of joy, will surely pour 
forth the "oil of gladness" (Heb. 1: 
9), and quicken the soul with a fore- 
taste of life eternal itself, which shall 
be joy and glory without end. 

22. This is that light of eternal life, 
that eternally triumphant joy, with 
which those only are crowned that 
live in Christ, and exercise daily re- 
pentance. This is the beginning of a 
spiritual life, as the death of Christ is 
the basis and foundation on which it 
is raised. On the contrary, where 
there is no repentance, there is no par- 
don of sin ; where there is no inward 
remorse or spiritual sorrow, there 
grace cannot have a place. Where 
these are wanting, there Christ him- 
self is wanting, together with the whole 
extent of his merits and satisfaction, 
be the pretences of the false Christian 
ever so fair and specious. Where this 
satisfaction is not thoroughly applied 
to the soul, there is no righteousness, 
and consequently no peace, no good 
conscience, no comfort. Where there 
is no comfort of heart, there is no 
Holy Ghost, no joy, no calmness of 
mind, and no life eternal ; but death, 
hell, condemnation, and everlasting 
darkness. 

23. Behold, O man ! how true it is, 
that none of those who refuse to fol- 
low Christ in their lives, by an un- 
feigned repentance, can ever get rid 
of the blindness of their hearts, and 
of everlasting darkness. 



Chap. XXXVIIL] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



129 



CHAPTER XXXVIIL 

SHOWING THAT AN UNCHRISTIAN LIFE LEADS TO FALSE DOCTRINE, HARDNESS OF 
HEART, AND BLINDNESS ) ALSO, TREATING OF THE ETERNAL ELECTION OF 
GRACE. 



Yet a little ichile is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon 
you: for he thatwalketh in darkness knowelh not whither he goeth. — John 12 : 35. 



SINCE Christ, and faith in him are 
denied, and almost wholly extir- 
pated by an ungodly life, what shall 
his doctrine profit us? For his doc- 
triue, with the Word and Sacraments, 
is delivered to us for no other end, 
than that it be inwardly digested, and 
converted, as it were, into our very 
life and spirit. As from a good seed 
springs up good fruit, so from the 
Word and Sacraments should spring 
up within us the noble life of regener- 
ation, or the new birth; the new, 
holy, and spiritual man ; or, to speak 
all in one word, a true and real Chris- 
tian. For he that is a Christian, must 
needs be born again of the Spirit, the 
Word, and the Sacraments, and be- 
lieve and live in Christ, as in the pri- 
mary principle of the life of grace. As 
certainly as a child is begotten by his 
father, so truly must the Christian be 
begotten of God and of Christ, through 
faith. James 1 : 18 ; 1 Peter 1 : 23 ; 
John 3 : 3, 5 ; Titus 3 : 5. 

2. When, therefore, we do not re- 
solve to strive against the depraved 
hent of our flesh, and to digest the 
doctrine of Christ into our life and 
nature ; nay, when we contradict the 
Christian doctrine by an anti- Christian 
life, by irreligion and profaneness ; is 
it not plain that we are not begotten 
of God, nor born of Christ ? What will 
Christ's doctrine profit us, when we are 
eure that our life does not correspond 



with it at all ? Will our vain boasts of 
the light of the Gospel do any good, 
when we evidently w r alk in darkness? 
It is on this account that the light de- 
servedly retires from us, and the world 
begins to be overspread with darkness 
and false doctrines, with errors and 
with seducing spirits. And that we 
might beware of these, our blessed 
Saviour hath left us this warning: 
" While ye have the light, walk in the 
light, lest darkness come upon you" 
(John 12: 35); that is, lest ye be led 
away into all kinds of errors and de- 
lusions, into blindness and hardness 
of heart, into darkness and prejudices, 
which indispose the mind for the very 
reception of the light of the Gospel. 
This was the case with Pharaoh, the 
Jews, and also of Julian the Apostate ;. 
who, being in the end convicted by 
the reproaches of his own conscience, 
exclaimed openly, and to his own con- 
fusion, that Christ both lived and 
reigned, and was both Lord and God;, 
saying, " Thou hast overcome, O Gal- 
ilean ; thou hast overcome." It would 
have been better for him to have said,. 
" Lord, have mercy upon me !" But, 
alas ! this was entirely out of his reach, 
in consequence of the hardness of his 
heart, contracted by an uninterrupted 
course of sinning, and by having 
rejected and despised the mercy of 
Christ. 

3. This hardness of heart, is that 



9 



ISO 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



terrible darkness which, in the end, 
overtakes all such as refuse to walk in 
the light whilst they have it. It is 
the just punishment inflicted on those 
that blaspheme the truth, as Pharaoh 
did, when he asked : " Who is the 
Lord, that I should obey his voice, to 
let Israel go ? I know not the Lord/' 
Exodus 5: 2. Therefore it was but just 
that he should the more grievously 
feel the overruling power of God, by 
being made an example to the whole 
world, and a lasting monument of the 
indignation of the Lord, and of the 
weakness of men who vainly presume 
to oppose him. 

4. In like manner were the Jews of 
old struck with blindness and hard- 
ness of heart, when they refused to 
hearken to the voice of the Lord, 
having been warned by Moses long 
before, that this would certainly come 
to pass. " The Lord," says he, " shall 
smite thee with madness, and blind- 
ness, and astonishment of heart." 
Deut. 28 : 28. This actually did befall 
them, as may be seen, Isaiah, chap. 
6 : 9-12. Whereby it is manifest, that 
such hardness of heart is the most 
righteous punishment of unbelief, of 
contempt of God, and the heavenly 
truth declared by him ; according to 
the words of St. Paul : " With all de- 
ceivableness of unrighteousness in 
them that perish; because they re- 
ceived not the love of the truth, that 
they might be saved. And for this 
cause, God shall send them strong de- 
lusion, that they should believe a lie." 
2 Thess. 2 : 10, 11. Whence it plainly 
appears, why God is used to strike 
men with such terrible blindness and 
hardness of heart; namely, because 
they "receive not the love of the 
truth." 

5. And, indeed, the man from whom 
God takes .away his offered grace, is 



surely most wretched and miserable ; 
neither can he of himself at any time 
return into the right way. As a proof 
of this, we have the examples of Pha- 
raoh and Julian. He from whom the 
Lord removes his light, must of neces- 
sity live in darkness. God removes it, 
however, from those only who refuse 
to walk in it ; neither does he take his 
grace from any, but from those that 
boldly reject it. 

6. It is in this sense that the words 
of St. Paul are to be taken: "'I will 
have mercy (saith he) on whom I 
will have mercy.' Therefore hath he 
mercy on whom he will have mercy; 
and whom he will he hardeneth." 
Rom. 9 : 15, 18. But truly the Lord 
hath pity on all them who freely re- 
ceive his mercy ; as, on the contrary, 
he hardeneth those that reject and 
blaspheme the offer of his grace. And 
it is this wilful resistance for which 
St. Paul reproves the Jews : " It was 
necessary," says he, "that the word 
of God should first have been spoken 
to you ; but seeing ye put it from you, 
and judge yourselves unworthy of 
everlasting life, lo, we turn to the 
Gentiles." "And when the Gentiles 
heard this, they were glad, and glori- 
fied the word of the Lord: and as 
many as were ordained to eternal life, 
believed" (Acts 13 : 46, 48) : that is, as 
many as did not resist and obstinately 
cast away the word of grace, as the 
means of faith. It was because the 
Jews were guilty of this, that they 
could not believe : for the Lord hath 
not ordained any one to eternal sal- 
vation, who disdainfully rejects his 
word, and proves disobedient to the 
offer of his grace. 

7. The ordination to life eternal, or 
the election of grace (Rom. 11 : 5), is 
fully brought to pass in Jesus Christ, 
with this promise annexed, that God 



Chap. XXXVIII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



131 



offers his grace to all by the Gospel ; 
those who receive it are ordained to 
eternal life; and whosoever reject it 
thereby "judge themselves unworthy 
of eternal life," as St. Paul expresses 
it. That is, by their own fault they 
make themselves unworthy of that 
blessing, and debar themselves from 
that universal grace which is dis- 
played in the Gospel ; and so putting 
their own names out of the book of 
life, which is Christ, they resist the 
good work of God by their own con- 
tumacy, and, consequently, cannot ob- 
tain that true saving faith, which the 
"Word begets. 

8. And here let us not deceive our- 
selves, by vainly supposing that they 
only reject the word of God, who do 
not outwardly embrace the faith and 
doctrine of Christ (such as Mahom- 
etans and Jews); and that those who 
profess the Christian faith, and adhere 
to the doctrine of the Gospel, cannot 
possibly be deemed wilful despisers of 
the offer of mercy. Certain it is, that 
all who will not follow the footsteps 
of Christ, nor take his life upon them, 
nor walk in the light, fall under this 
heavy charge. And for this cause 
God is moved to take from them the 
light of his word, and of pure doc- 
trine. " I," saith Christ, " am the light 
of the world: he that followeth me, 
shall not walk in darkness, but shall 
have the light of life." John 8 : 12. 

9. Hence we learn that whoever fol- 
lows the example of Christ, and lives 
his life, shall be in no danger of being 
misled by any delusion and error. He 
shall also escape that blindness and 
hardness of heart, which an empty 
confessor of the Christian faith draws 
upon himself. Consider here, on the 
one hand, the many proud, noble, 
learned, ingenious, and mighty men 
of this world ; and, on the other, the 



errors, blindness, and delusions, into 
which they are plunged. Truly, those 
delusions arise from no other source, 
than because men do not live in Christ, 
but are averse to the imitation of his 
holy life; and therefore cannot have 
the light of life. 

10. From the same source also pro- 
ceed those " workings of Satan," and 
those "strong delusions," together 
with all the "lying wonders" men- 
tioned by St. Paul (2 Thess. 2 : 9-11), 
and which more and more increase 
upon us, because the world is not wil- 
ling to follow Christ, and by this 
means, to be preserved from delusion 
and error. " For what communion 
hath light with darkness? and what 
concord (therefore) hath Christ with 
Belial ?" 2 Cor. 6 : 14, 15. That is to 
say, Purity of doctrine, and divine 
knowledge, cannot remain with those 
that live in the devil, in darkness, in 
pride, in covetousness, and filthy 
pleasure. How should the pure doc- 
trine dwell with those who exhibit im- 
purity of life and manners ? Nothing, 
certainly, can be more irreconcilable, 
than purity of doctrine and an impure 
life. 

11. If, therefore, we would preserve 
pure doctrine, we must be wholly 
changed in our minds, and have no 
part with the world, and with un- 
christian actions. We must "awake" 
(Eph. 5 : 14) from the lethargy of sin, 
and shake off the works of darkness, 
that so Christ may enlighten us again 
with the light of true faith. Whence 
it is plain, that whosoever does not 
follow the footsteps of Christ, nor 
imitate him in his love, humility, 
meekness, patience, and obedience, he 
must necessarily be deceived, and 
stray from the knowledge of God ; 
since he does not walk in the way 
which leads to truth. 



132 



TKUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



12. On the contrary, if we but lived 
in Christ, if we walked in his love and 
humility, and directed all our endeav- 
ors and studies purely to this one ob- 
ject, that the flesh be mortified, and 
the life of Christ raised within us; 
that through him we might overcome 
ourselves, and triumph over the flesh, 
the world, and the devil; if this were 
but once effected, there would then 
remain very little contention and 
strife about the doctrine, and heresies 
would of themselves fall to the ground. 

13. We have an example of most 
strange dejusion in Ahab, who, on ac- 
count of his wicked and tyrannical 
life, was seduced by four hundred 
false prophets. 1 Kings 22. It was 
by their encouragement that he un- 
dertook that fatal expedition against 
the Syrians, in contempt of the true 
prophet Micaiah, who positively fore- 
told his death in that battle. But be- 
ing led by a false light, he rejected the 
truth, and gave credit to lying proph- 
ets, who prophesied nothing but peace 
and prosperity to him. Hence the 
justice of God met him, according to 
the word of the true prophet, and by 
due desert the dogs licked his blood. 



14. In this is verified the word of 
St. Paul : " The god of this world hath 
blinded the minds of them which be- 
lieve not, lest the light of the glorious 
gospel of Christ should shine unto 
them." 2 Cor. 4:4. And is not the 
same judgment threatened against all 
hypocrites, who boast of Christ and his 
doctrine, but deny him in their life 
and actions ? For thus saith the Lord 
through the prophet : " Forasmuch as 
this people draw near me with their 
mouth, and with their lips do honor 
me, but have removed their heart far 
from me; therefore the wisdom of 
their wise men shall perish, and the 
understanding of their prudent men 
shall be hid." Isa. 29 : 13, 14. Con- 
cerning the prophets in particular, the 
Lord has plainly declared, that he has 
"covered the prophets, the rulers, and 
seers." Hence the vision shall become 
as a " sealed book," etc. Yerse 10, 11. 
And as for the Jews themselves, the 
apostle has told us, that there is a 
"vail upon their heart," preventing 
their eyes from beholding the true 
Messiah; which, however, shall be 
" taken away when they turn to the 
Lord." 2 Cor. 3 : 15, 16. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 



SHOWING THAT THE PURITY OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE DIVINE WORD IS MAIN- 
TAINED NOT ONLY BY DISCUSSIONS AND PUBLICATIONS, BUT ALSO BY TRUE 
REPENTANCE AND HOLINESS OF LIFE. 



Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in 
Christ Jesus. That good^dng which was committed unto thee, keep by the Holy Ghost which 
dwelleth in us. — 2 Tim. 1 : 13, 14. 



IT is very necessary, that the purity 
of doctrine, and the truth of the 
holy Christian faith, should be main- 
tained and defended against all false 



teachers. For this we have the ex- 
ample of the holy prophets, who, with 
great zeal, preached against false and 
idolatrous prophets under the old law; 



Chap. XXXIX.] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



133 



of the Son of God, who sharply dis- 
puted against the Pharisees and scribes 
at Jerusalem; of St. John, the Evan- 
gelist, who wrote his Gospel against 
the heretical Ebionites and Cerinthus, 
and the Eevelation (chap. 2 : 6, 15), 
against the false church of the Nico- 
laitans and others. 

2. Thus, too, St. Paul vigorously de- 
fended the doctrine of justification by 
faith (Eom. 3 : 20, etc.), of good works 
(2 Cor. 9 : 8, etc.), of the resurrection 
of the dead (1 Cor. 15 : 1, etc.), of 
Christian liberty (1 Cor. 9 j 10— Gal. 
5:1, etc.), etc., against certain false 
apostles who had intruded into the 
Church. We have, further, the exam- 
ple of the holy bishops and fathers of 
the primitive church, who, following 
the example set them by the apostles, 
strenuously opposed in their public 
controversial writings, the Pagan su- 
perstitions, and the heresies of those 
times. Nay, for the same purpose 
General Councils were gathered by the 
Christian emperors, who condemned 
the chief heretics that infested the 
church at that time; such as the 
Arians, Macedonians, Nestorians, and 
Eutychians ; not to mention the ex- 
ample of Martin Luther, by whose po- 
lemical books and writings, the papa- 
cy, and other sects, have in these latter 
days been successfully assailed. 

3. It remains, therefore, that preach- 
ing, writing, and disputation against 
heretics, must be continued, to the 
preserving of the purity of doctrine, 
and of true religion. For this reason, 
the apostle will also have " a bishop 
to be able both to exhort and convince 
the gainsayers." Titus 1 : 9. Though 
this in itself is both lawful and com- 
mendable, yet it has so fallen out by 
the abuse of it, that disputations and 
controversies are increased to such an 
extent in these days, that the Chris- 



tian life, true repentance, love, and god- 
liness, are, as it were forgotten ; as if 
the sum and substance of the Christian 
religion consisted in arguing, and writ- 
ing books of controversy, rather than 
in that unfeigned holiness of life, and 
purity of manners, which the Gospel 
requires. 

4. For consider the examples of the 
holy Prophets and Apostles, as also 
of the Son of God himself. They did 
not barely dispute against false proph- 
ets and apostles, and the superstitions 
maintained by them; but also with 
great zeal and vigor exhorted to true 
repentance, and a holy life. Their ser- 
mons were accompanied with power 
and energy ; and they made it appear, 
that by wickedness and impenitence, 
true religion and worship were de- 
stroyed, the Church laid waste, and 
kingdoms and countries visited with 
the plague, war, and famine. And all 
this exactly came to pass even as they 
said. Of this complexion is that dec- 
laration of the Prophet, where he de- 
nounces to the Jews, "that because 
the vineyard of the Lord did not bring 
forth grapes, but wild grapes, the Lord 
had decreed to lay it waste." Isaiah 
5:4, 6. Whence it appears, that im- 
piety is the cause, why God takes 
away his Word from us. And does 
not the Lord speak to the same effect, 
in the words recorded by St. John ? 
" Walk while ye have the light, lest 
darkness come upon you." John 12 : 35. 
But what is it to walk in the lio;ht, ex- 
cept it be to imitate Christ in his life, 
and to have the same mind which was 
in him? And what does the. Lord in- 
timate by the " darkness coming upon 
us," but the loss of the Gospel, and of 
the purity of the Christian doctrine ? 
All this may abundantly convince us, 
that without repentance and holiness 
of life, no soul can be illuminated 



134 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



with the saving light of the Gospel. 
For the Holy Ghost, who is the true 
enlightener of hearts, flees from the 
ungodly, and chooses holy souls only, 
to make them friends of God. And 
if the beginning of wisdom is the fear 
of God (Ps. Ill : 1U), who can doubt 
that impiety and carnal security are 
the beginning of folly, ignorance, and 
blindness? 

5. The true knowledge of Christ, 
and profession of his doctrine, consist 
not in words only, but in deeds and a 
holy life, as St Paul says: "They 
profess that they know God; but in 
works they deny him, being abomin- 
able, and disobedient, and unto every 
good work reprobate." Titus 1 : 16. 
And again; "They have a form of 
godliness, but deny the power thereof." 
2 Tim. 3:5. By this we are taught, 
that Christ and his Gospel are denied 
by a wicked life, as well as by words ; 
and that he has not the true knowl- 
edge of Christ, who puts it not into 
practice. A man who never tasted in 
his heart the humility, meekness, pa- 
tience, and love ot'Christ, cannot know 
Christ himself; and, consequently, in 
the time of trouble, cannot freely con- 
fess him. Whoever confesses the doc- 
trine of Christ, and rejects him in his 
life, confesses him only in part; and 
whoever preaches the doctrine of 
Christ without his life, preaches Christ 
only in part. The world abounds with 
books of controversy, written in de- 
fence of the doctrine, but very few liv- 
ing books are extant concerning a 
Christian life. Now what is doctrine 
without life, but a tree without fruit ? 
Or how should he follow the doctrine 
of Christ, who refuses to follow him 
in his life ? For the sum and substance 
of the doctrine of Jesus Christ is " char- 
ity, out of a pure heart, and of a good 
conscience, and of faith unfeigned." 



1 Tim. 1 : 5. But we live in an age, 
wherein there is so vast a number of 
disputants and reasoners in matters 
of doctrine, that one would think 
they had nothing more at heart than 
the promotion of religion and piety: 
whereas, upon a closer search, they 
are found to be inwardly full of mal- 
ice and pride, envy and avarice. For 
this reason the apostle hath joined to- 
gether faith and love, when he com- 
mands us to " hold fast the form of 
sound words." 2 Tim. 1 : 13. Life and 
doctrine, as he intends to show, must 
go hand in hand together, and never 
be put asunder in the great work of 
salvation. 

6. Though we do not in the slightest 
degree affirm, that by our own efforts 
and piety, eternal life is obtained (for 
"we are kept by the power of God 
through faith unto salvation," 1 Pet. 
1:5): yet it is certain, that by an un- 
godly life, the Spirit of God, with all his 
gifts, is banished; amongst which gifts, 
faith, knowledge, understanding, and 
wisdom, are not the least. Therefore 
it follows again, that without a holy 
life, purity of doctrine cannot be pre- 
served; and that the wicked who will 
not follow Christ in his life, cannot be 
enlightened with the true light of the 
Gospel. On the contrary, those that 
walk in the light, that is, who perse- 
vere in the blessed footsteps of Christ, 
are illuminated by the true light (John 
1 : 9), which is Christ, and are hereby 
preserved from the danger of delu- 
sions and errors. To this effect, that 
holy and enlightened writer, Tauler, 
has said: "As soon as a man dedi- 
cates and yields himself up to God, 
and denies his own will and flesh, then 
immediately the good Spirit of God 
begins to illuminate him, and to endue 
him with solid and sound knowledge; 
because this man truly keeps in his 



Chap. XXXIX.] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



135 



heart the true spiritual sabbath, and 
rests from all sinful lusts, and from 
his own will and works." This sen- 
tence is to be understood of the state 
after conversion, and of daily illumi- 
nation and growth in divine gifts and 
graces. 

7. Not without cause, then, doth the 
Lord say, " I am the way, and the 
truth, and the life." John 14 : 6. He 
calls himself the way, as showing the 
way unto us. And how did he show 
it? Truly, not in his doctrine only, 
but also in his most holy life. This 
life of our blessed Eedeemer consisted 
in a true and unfeigned devotedness to 
God, leading us in the way to truth 
and to life, as the substance of our 
whole religion, and the summary of 
all the commandments of God. This 
book of life contains in it many great 
and arduous lessons, to learn which 
were sufficient to take up our whole 
time. Here is inculcated the exercise 
of true repentance, and of that living 
practical faith which attends it; here 
the practice of love, hope, meekness, 
patience, and humility, are to be 
studied; here the duty of prayer, and 
of the fear of God, is explained : all 
which taken together, make up the 
whole life of Christ, set us as a pat- 
tern to follow. This is that " strait 
gate," and that " narrow way," which 
few can find. Matt. 7 : 14. This is the 
book of life, which but few read, 
though all things are comprised in it 
which a Christian ought to know and 
to practise ; so that we shall need no 
other book in order to our eternal sal- 
vation. Here is the reason why also 
the Holy Scripture is contained in a 
few books, that it might appear that 
Christianity does not consist in a mul- 
titude of volumes, but in a living faith, 
and in a serious imitation of Christ. 
For the wise man says : " Of mak- 



ing many books there is no end ; and 
much study is a weariness of the flesh." 
Wherefore, let us hear the conclusion 
of the whole matter: " Fear God, and 
keep his commandments." Eccles. 12: 
12, 13. 

8. We are told in the parable, that 
the devil, when men are asleep, com- 
eth and soweth tares among the wheat, 
and goeth his way. Matt. 13 : 25. This 
teaches us, that when men lay aside 
the works of repentance, and indulge 
themselves in the sleep of sin, of carnal 
security, of love of the world, and of 
temporal care and concerns ; then the 
devil gradually scatters his seed of 
false doctrine in the field of pride 
(Gen. 3:5): whence arise various sects, 
schisms, and heresies. For by the sin 
of pride both angels and men lost the 
true light with which they were at 
first endued. Pride is the original 
source of all delusions and errors, 
which have been most unhappily 
brought into the world. If Satan, and 
Adam, the first man, had continued in 
a state of humility, as did Christ when 
he conversed among men, then never 
had any error or temptation invaded 
this world. But now there is no other 
means for our recovery left, except 
that which is taught by St. Paul : 
" Awake, thou that sleepest, and Christ 
shall give thee light" (Bph. 5 : 14) : con- 
vincing us thereby, that no man can 
be divinely enlightened, who has not 
shaken off his sinful lethargy; that 
is, his carnal security, profaneness, and 
impiety. The same is attested by St. 
Peter: "Eepent, and ye shall receive- 
the gift of the Holy Ghost " (Acts 2 :: 
38) ; and by the Lord himself, in that- 
saying : " The world cannot receive 
the Spirit of truth, because it seeth, 
him not, neither knoweth him." John 
14 : 17. And what is the world, but a 
life passed without God ? 



136 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



9. Again, when the Lord says : " By 
their fruits ye shall know them " (Matt. 
7 : 20) ; does he not signify the fruits 
of a good and holy life, as the proper 
marks whereby true and false Chris- 
tians may be discerned ? A naked, 
empty profession of the Christian faith, 
will be no safe foundation upon which 
to rely. Any false Christian may cover 
himself with the sheep's clothing of a 
verbal profession of the Christian faith; 
when inwardly and in his heart he is 
anything but a true Christian. How- 
ever, be the lives of the professors of 
Christianity ever so vain and wicked, 
it does not follow hence, that the whole 
doctrine is also false and corrupted, 
as some would insinuate, vainly con- 
demning our doctrine on account of 
the wickedness of some of its pro- 
fessed adherents. If this were true, 
the doctrine of Christ and of his apos- 
tles would not escape the charge of 
error and falsehood; because even in 
their days many impious characters 
intruded into the church, and made a 
fair profession of the Christian faith. 
A profane life is no sufficient proof of 
false doctrine in general, though it 
may give us an insight into the indi- 
vidual himself, whether he be a true 
or a false Christian. Truly, he can- 
not believe aright, who leads a life op- 
posed to the nature and properties of 
a divine faith. Such a man is no more 
a believer, or a Christian, than a dead 
body is a man. As many, therefore, 
as are of the number of such corrupt 
and unfruitful trees, are fit for nothing 
but to be hewn down and cast into the 
fire. Matt. 7 : 19. 

10. In order to understand this the 
better, we ought to inquire into the 
.nature of a sound and saving faith, 
.and the peculiar properties that at- 
tend it. And in the first place, a true, 
isaving faith, works by love. Gal. 5:6. 



By faith man is made " a new crea- 
ture " (Gal. 6 : 15) ; he is thereby born 
again, and united with God. By faith, 
" Christ dwells" and operates " in his 
heart." Eph.3:17. By faith the whole 
kingdom of God is established in the 
soul, and the divine Spirit " purifies 
and enlightens the heart." Acts 15:9. 
And truly, the Scripture copiously 
sets forth these and similar properties 
that accompany true faith. Thus the 
apostle says: " He that is joined unto 
the Lord (by faith) is one spirit." 1 
Cor. 6 : 17. And what is it to be one 
spirit with Christ, but to have the 
same mind, the same heart and will, 
which are in him? And this oneness 
of spirit must needs suppose that new, 
holy, and heavenly life of Christ 
which is to be raised within us. To 
the same purpose it is said : " If any 
man be in Christ, he is a new crea- 
ture " (2 Cor. 5 : 17) ; where to be in 
Christ, is not only to believe in him, 
but also to live in him. Again, "I 
will betroth thee unto me forever; I 
will even betroth thee to me in faith- 
fulness." Hos. 2 : 19, 20. This sentence 
can signify no less, than that a man 
by faith is wholly and spiritually 
united to Christ : so that where faith 
is, there Christ is ; where Christ is, 
there a holy life abides in man ; where 
the life of Christ is, there also is his 
love; and where love is, there is God 
himself, who " is love" (1 John 4 : 8), 
and there is also the Holy Ghost. And 
in this divine order all these heavenly 
transactions combine ; even as the 
head is one with the members, and as 
the cause is linked with the effect. 
And this connection of faith and life, 
St. Peter admirably enforces, when he 
bids us to "give all diligence to add 
to faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowl- 
edge; and to knowledge, temperance; 
and to temperance, patience; and to 



Chap. XL.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



137 



patience, godliness; and to godliness, 
brotherly kindness ; and to brotherly 
kindness, charity." " For if these 
things," says he, " be in you and 
abound, they make you that ye shall 
neither be barren nor unfruitful in 
the knowledge of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. But he that lacketh these 
things is blind, and cannot see afar 
off, and hath forgotten that he was 
purged from his old sins." 2 Pet. 1 : 



5-9. Here the apostle evidently de- 
clares, that in whomsoever this union 
of faith and of life is not to be found, 
he is destitute of all saving knowledge 
of Christ, and walks in darkness. For 
it is the property of true faith to 
change a man wholly, to renew, and 
to quicken him in Christ; so that 
henceforth man may live and dwell in 
Christ, and Christ again may live and 
dwell in man. 



CHAPTER XL. 



SUNDRY RULES FOR LEADING A HOLY LIFE. 



Exercise thyself unto godliness. For godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the 
life that now is, and of that which is to come. — 1 TlM. 4:7, 8. 



IN this apostolical sentence is con- 
tained a brief description of a 
Christian's life, and of the main study 
about which he is employed, namely, 
the study of godliness, or of Christian 
piety, which comprehends in it the 
whole train of Christian virtues. The 
apostle makes use of two motives to 
recommend this heavenly study, and 
the constant practice of it. First, says 
he, " Godliness is profitable unto all 
things." Godliness is of most admir- 
able service, as soon as our words and 
actions are influenced by it. It ren- 
ders the whole life acceptable to God, 
and useful to our neighbor. The sec- 
ond motive is, because godliness is ac- 
companied with a gracious reward 
both in this life, as appears from the 
examples of Joseph, of Daniel, and of 
others, as well as in that which is to 
come ; where we shall reap without 
ceasing, provided we do not faint while 
we dwell here. Gal. 6 : 9. For our bet- 
ter encouragement in the practice of 



piety, let us endeavor to keep in re- 
membrance the following rules and 
considerations. 

I. If thou even canst not live up to 
that degree of holiness which the word 
of God requires, and which thou thy- 
self desirest, yet thou must never cease 
ardently to wish for it ; for such holy 
breathings are always acceptable to 
God. God does not so much regard 
the outward action of a man, as the 
heart whence the action proceeds. But 
after all, never neglect to crucify thy 
flesh, and never permit it to rule over 
thee. 

II. In all that thou thinkest and 
doest, be careful to preserve the purity 
of thy heart. Set a watch over it, lest 
thou be defiled with proud thoughts, 
words, or actions ; with wrath, or 
other such works of the flesh, and of 
the devil. Sin opens the door to the 
devil, and shuts the heart against God. 

III. Study continually to maintain 
the Christian liberty of thy soul, and 



138 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



do not suffer thyself to be enslaved, 
or brought into bondage, by any inor- 
dinate love of the creature, or of the 
things of this world, whose lord and 
master thou oughtest to be. Consider 
the value of thy soul, which certainly 
is of a more uoble nature than this 
present perishing world. Why should- 
est thou degrade it so far, as to sub- 
ject it to the frail, base, and frivolous 
things of this life ? 

IV. Beware of the care and sorrow 
of this world, because it worketh death. 
2 Cor. 7 : 10. As worldly sorrow be- 
getteth death, so godly sorrow beget- 
teth life, and lays up an eternal treas- 
ure ! Worldly sorrow springs from 
avarice and envy; from excessive 
care; from unbelief and impatience; 
and other temporal sources. Godly 
sorrow proceeds from a knowledge of 
thy sins, and those eternal punish- 
ments which follow them. This sor- 
row produces many salutary effects in 
a penitent soul, and "worketh repent- 
ance to salvation, not to be repented 
of;" being attended with spiritual joy, 
and solid peace or tranquillity of 
mind. No loss of a temporal kind 
ought to afflict thee so much as the 
remembrance of thy sins, by which 
thou hast offended the infinite good- 
ness of God. 

Y. If thou canst not bear thy cross 
with joy and cheerfulness, yet take it 
at least with patience and humility, and 
acquiesce calmly in the divine will and 
providence. For, truly, the will of 
God is always good ; nor does it intend 
anything but thy benefit and salva- 
tion. Whatsoever, therefore, God shall 
be pleased to appoint thee in his wis- 
dom, do thou gratefully accept it, and 
be either joyful or sorrowful, poor or 
rich, high or low, vile or excellent, as 
He orders thy lot. Let this saying 
always be in thy mind: "Thus it 



seeraeth good unto God, and so it must 
needs be expedient and useful for me 
also. His will, not mine, be done." 
Let not that, therefore, which pleases 
God, displease thee ; but rather rejoice 
that all things are ordered according 
to His pleasure and thy salvation. 
Remember that "the Lord is right- 
eous in all his ways, and holy in all his 
works." Ps. 145 : 17. Hence it is but 
just that the will of God should be 
done, because it is always good and 
profitable ; and that thy own will should 
be subdued and unaccomplished, be- 
cause it is always evil and hurtful. 

YI. Whenever the Lord visits thy 
soul with heavenly joy, accept the 
same with gratitude and humility. But 
when he is pleased to withdraw the 
comfortable light of his presence, then 
consider that the mortification of the 
flesh must needs be of greater profit 
to thee than exalted joy in the spirit. 
Through overmuch spiritual joy, many 
fall into spiritual pride. But what- 
ever causes mortification and sorrow, 
is far more useful in subduing the flesh, 
than that which is delightful and pleas- 
ing to nature. The Lord best knows 
whom to lead in a pleasant and agree- 
able path, and who are to be brought 
through an unpleasant, stony, and 
difficult way. Always esteem it best 
to arrive at thy journey's end by that 
way which divine Wisdom has chosen 
for thee, however different it may be 
from thine own choice, or from the 
devices of thine own heart. Remem- 
ber, that " sorrow is better than 
laughter;" and that " by the sadness 
of the countenance the heart is made 
better." And if thou wilt be wise, 
trust to the experience of the wise 
man, who tells thee furthermore, that 
" the heart of the wise is in the house 
of mourning ; but the heart of fools 
is in the house of mirth." Eccl. 7 : 3, 4. 



Chap. XL.] 



TKTJE CHRISTIANITY. 



139 



YII. Make an offering to God of all 
that thou hast, and undertakest. If thou 
canst not bring offerings of a high and 
exalted devotion, of prayer, of thanks- 
giving, and of other similar acts of 
religion, offer at least what thou hast, 
with a good will, and a fervent desire. 
Wish, at least, that it may prove ac- 
ceptable unto the Lord; for to have 
such a desire, or to be willing to have 
it, is no contemptible offering, but is 
very agreeable to the kindness of God. 
In what measure thou desirest to offer 
up thy devotion, thy prayer, and 
praise; in that measure God accepts 
the same. He requires no more at 
thy hands than he himself works in 
thee by his grace : nor canst thou re- 
turn him more than he has first con- 
ferred on thee. In the meantime, 
entreat the Lord Jesus, that he would 
graciously please to supply what is 
defective in thee, by his own more 
perfect oblation and sacrifice : because 
he, and he only, is the perfection of 
our imperfect worship and service. 
Say, therefore, in faith : " O my God, 
and my Father, I beseech thee, let my 
devotion, my prayer, and thanks- 
giving, together with all the acts of 
my faith and worship, be graciously 
accepted by thee in thy beloved Son, 
Jesus Christ. Esteem them, not ac- 
cording to what they are in them- 
selves, but according to what they are 
made by the merit of the all-suf- 
ficient sacrifice offered up by thy Son. 
O look upon that, and upon all that 
he has wrought for me in the flesh ; 
and as his most perfect works must 
needs be pleasing to thee, so let mine 
also be acceptable to thee for his sake. 
He, O my God, shall abundantly make 
up whatsoever is defective in me." By 
this means, our devotion, our prayer, 
and thanksgiving, how imperfect, 
weak, and obscure soever they may be 



in themselves, acquire a certain lustre, 
worth, and dignity derived from the 
merit of Christ, whereby our works 
are rendered acceptable to the Lord. 
As a naked and unclean infant is 
offensive to every one that sees it, but 
becomes sweet and lovely when it is 
thoroughly cleansed, and covered with 
fine linen : in like manner, all the 
works which thou doest in thy natural 
state, are polluted with sin, and of no 
account before God ; but no sooner 
art thou covered with the perfection 
of Christ (Isa. 61 : 10), than thy works 
are acceptable to God. As fruit, 
which is not valuable in itself, sur- 
prises the spectator into a love of it, 
when served up in vessels of precious 
gold : so our prayers and acts of de- 
votion, though of no account in them- 
selves, are exalted in Jesus Christ, in 
whom, as in the beloved, we are made ac- 
cepted with God. Eph. 1 : 6. 

VIII. If thy sins and manifold frail- 
ties (as they should do), make thee 
sad, jetlet them not lead thee to despair. 
If they be many in number, remember 
that there is yet more mercy with 
Christ, and " plenteous redemption 
with him." Ps. 130 : 7. If thy imper- 
fections be ever so great, remember 
that Christ's merits are yet greater, 
and say with the royal penitent : 
" Have mercy upon me, O Lord, ac- 
cording to the multitude of thy tender 
mercies!" Ps. 51:1. And when, by the 
grace of God, thou truly repentest, 
and beholdest Christ Jesus, that great 
sacrifice for sin, then God himself re- 
pents of the evil which was to be in- 
flicted upon thee ; and absolution and 
remission of sin instantly follow so 
good and salutary a sorrow. Ezek. 
18 : 23 ; 33 : 11. As the leper, upon 
his application to Christ, was immedi- 
ately delivered from his evil, so is also 
the penitent sinner. JSTo sooner did he 



140 



TBUE CHBISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



say, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst 
make me clean;" than Christ freely 
replied: «"I will; be thou clean." 
Matt, 8 : 2, 3. So also the merciful God, 
inwardly and in the spirit, makes thee 
clean, comforts thee, and says : " Be 
of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven 
thee." Matt. 9 : 2. This wonderful 
mercy of the Lord in cleansing and 
absolving thee of thy sins, as it is for- 
cibly represented by the example of 
that leper, so it ought by no means to 
give thee an occasion to sin the more; 
but to love G-od the more, and to say, 
"Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all 
that is within me bless his holy name." 
Ps. 103 : 1. 

IX. Let not injuries, reproaches, and 
revilings, provoke thee at any time to 
wrath, indignation, or revenge; but 
rather take them as so many trials of 
thy heart, and of the inward state 
of thy soul. Hereby God designs to 
prove thee, that it may appear what is 
hidden within thee, and whether meek- 
ness and humility, or wrath and pride, 
sway thy mind. For that which lies 
concealed in a man, is stirred up and 
made manifest by reproaches and pro- 
vocations. If, therefore, thy heart be 
endued with meekness and lowliness, 
thou wilt easily bear contempt and in- 
juries ; nay, thou wilt accept them as 
so many paternal chastisements de- 
signed for the good of thy soul. More- 
over, thou must consider, that con- 
tempt and reproaches are part of the 
chastisements which the Almighty 
sends, and thou shouldst patiently 
bear whatever the Lord shall be 
pleased to allot to thee. " Let us go 
forth," says the apostle, «unto him, 
bearing his reproach." Heb. 13 : 13. 
Behold with what lowliness of heart 
did he undergo the affronts of a pro- 
fane world ! And should not we submit 
to the same with meekness, and with 



an unshaken evenness of mind ? Say 
not then, " Should I suffer these things 
from so contemptible a fellow as this?" 
but rather submit, in consideration of 
that patient and meek spirit which 
was in Christ, and displayed itself in 
his whole life and conduct. Lastly, 
consider the kindness of God towards 
those that suffer for his sake. So faith- 
ful is he, and so kind to those that 
bear any disgrace on his account, that 
he confers the greater marks of honor 
and favor upon them. Thus David, 
when Shimei vented his malice upon 
him, took it for a pledge that God 
would bestow a token of great honor 
upon him; and this accordingly came 
to pass. " It may be," says he, "that 
the Lord will look on mine affliction, 
and that the Lord will requite me 
good for his cursing this day," and 
turn his curse into a blessing. 2 Sam. 
16 : 12. Be not, therefore, at all dis- 
turbed at the evil report that wicked 
men may raise against thee ; but re- 
joice rather, since the Spirit of glory 
rests on those that are reproached for 
the name of Christ. 1 Peter 4 : 14. 

X. Study to overcome and to pacify 
thine enemies, by bestowing upon 
them tokens of love and kindness. No 
man will ever be reconciled by wrath, 
or revenge, or returning evil for evil, 
for victory consists in virtue, not in 
vice. And as one devil does not drive 
out another, so it cannot be expected 
that one evil should be subdued by an- 
other; or that enmity against thee 
should be extinguished by affronts and 
provocations offered by thee. A man 
that is full of sores and bruises, is not 
likely to be healed by the addition of 
more blows ; and if he be so mad as to 
beat and to cut himself, he is to be 
pitied, and to be treated with the 
greater kindness and lenity. In like 
manner, if a man be full of spiritual 



Chap. XL.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



141 



distemper, and of hatred, he is to be 
handled with the more love and gen- 
tleness; if, perhaps, by such lenient 
means as these, he may be softened 
into a better temper. Consider the 
method which God himself uses for 
overcoming our natural obstinacy. 
Does he not conquer our malice with 
his goodness, and our wrath with his 
love? And does he not invite us to re- 
pentance by many endearing marks of 
love and benignity ? Rom. 2 : 4. This 
method is prescribed by St. Paul: "Be 
not/' says he, "overcome of evil, but 
overcome evil with good." Rom. 12 : 
2L. This is victory indeed. 

XI. When thou observest that God 
has adorned thy neighbor with gifts 
above thee, take heed not to envy him 
on that account; but rather rejoice 
and give thanks to God for the same. 
Consider, that since all true believers 
make up together but one body, it 
must needs follow, that the beauty of 
every member is communicated to the 
whole body, and to every member 
thereof. On the other hand, when 
thou perceivest the misery of thy 
neighbor, lament over it as if it were 
thine own; considering that the con- 
dition of all men is equally subject to 
evil, and that misery and affliction are 
the lot of mankind. Christ hath also 
set thee here an example. And, truly, 
whoever does not commiserate and 
sympathize with the misery of his 
neighbor, let him pretend to be what 
he may, he is no living member of the 
body of Christ. For did not Christ 
look upon our misery as his own, and 
by compassionating our deplorable 
state, deliver us from all our miseries? 
This mutual love and sympathy, are 
inculcated by St. Paul : " Bear ye one 
another's burdens/' says he, " and so 
fulfil the law of Christ." Gal. 6 : 2. 

XII. As for love and hatred in rela- 



tion to thy neighbor, make the follow- 
ing distinction. It is but fit that thou 
shouldest hate his vices and crimes as 
the very works of the devil; but then, 
beware of hating the person 'whilst 
thou abhorrest his sin. On the con- 
trary, it is thy duty to bewail the case 
of thy neighbor, who, being carried 
away by so many irregular passions, 
enjoys no solid rest in his soul. Offer 
up his cause to God, and pray for him, 
as Christ did for his enemies, when he 
was nailed to the cross. Luke 23 : 34. 
Do not, therefore, hate any man, but 
hate his vices only ; for whosoever 
hates a man, and seeks his ruin, can 
in no wise be pleasing to God ; since 
it is the very nature of God to be 
kind, and to desire that " all men 
should be saved, and come unto the 
knowledge of the truth." 1 Tim. 2 : 4. 
This was also the end for which 
Christ took our flesh upon him. He 
came into the world, " not to destroy 
men's lives, but to save them." Luke 
9:56. 

XIII. Consider all men as being 
frail and imperfect, but none as more 
frail and imperfect than thyself; for 
before God, all men stand equally 
guilty, and there is no difference. We 
have all sinned, and have thereby 
been deprived of the image of God, 
and of all the glory which attended 
it. Rom. 3 : 23. How great a sinner, 
therefore, thy neighbor may be, never 
fondly persuade thyself, that thou art 
better before God. Remember this 
warning of the apostle: "Let him 
that thinketh he standeth, take heed 
lest he fall." 1 Cor. 10 : 12. He that 
makes himself the lowest of all men, 
is in the fairest way of being pre- 
served, by the grace of God, unto sal- 
vation. And certain it is, that thou 
standest no less in need of the grace 
and mercy of God, than the greatest 



142 



TEÜE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



of sinners. Where there is a great 
measure of humility, there is also a 
great measure of grace. Wherefore 
St. Paul accounted himself the " chief 
of sinners" (1 Tim. 1 : 15); and it was 
in this order he obtained mercy, and 
had so much long-suffering bestowed 
upon him. And in another place he 
declares that he will glory in nothing 
but in "his infirmities, that the power 
of Christ might rest upon him." 2 
Cor. 12 : 9. 

XIV. True illumination is always 
accompanied with a contempt of the 
things of the world. As the children 
of the world have their inheritance 
here upon earth; so the children of 
God have theirs laid up above in 
heaven. The treasures which the 
children of this world have chiefly at 
heart, are temporal honors, perishing 
riches, earthly splendor and glory. 
But the treasures of the children of 
God are poverty and contempt, per- 
secution and reproach, the cross and 
death, trouble and sorrow. Thus did 
Moses prefer " the reproach of Christ 
before the treasures in Egypt;" and 
the affliction of the people of God, 



before the pleasures of. sin. Heb. 11 : 
25, 26. 

XV. Eemember, that by the name 
of a Christian written in heaven, is in- 
timated that solid, practical knowledge 
of Christ which is grounded in faith, 
and by which we are transplanted into 
Christ. From this knowledge flow 
all the living virtues which the Lord 
will praise in the great day of retri- 
bution. Matt. 25 : 34, etc. He will 
then also bring to light all those 
treasures which we have laid up in 
heaven (1 Tim. 6 : 19), together with 
all such works as have been wrought 
in God. John 3:21. Never has a saint 
lived upon earth, but he has been par- 
ticularly eminent in one virtue or 
other; and this virtue shall never be 
forgotten. Ps. 112 : 6. Whether it be 
faith, love, mercy, patience, or any 
other virtue in the practice of which 
he has been so conspicuous, it shall 
make up that eternal name which is 
written in heaven. Eev. 2 : 17 ; 3 : 12. 
This will be the note and character 
of the saints, and their eternal me- 
morial before God. But of this, more 
shall be said in Book II. 



CHAPTER XL I 



THE WHOLE OF CHRISTIANITY CONSISTS IN THE RESTORATION OP THE IMAGE OF 
GOD IN MAN, AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THE IMAGE OF SATAN. 



But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same 
image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. — 2 Cor. 3 : 18. 



IN the true knowledge of Christ, 
wherein is comprehended that of 
his Person, offices, benefits, and heav- 
enly and eternal gifts, consists life 
everlasting. John 17 : 3. This knowl- 
edge is kindled in our hearts by the 



Divine Spirit, and is a new light 
shining forth with increasing bright- 
ness, and passing on from glory to 
glory. It is like a metallic body, 
which, by constant polishing, be- 
comes every day more brilliant ; or 



Chap. XLL] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



143 



like a tender infant, which, by a daily 
supply of food, grows up in vigor and 
strength. No sooner is the righteous- 
ness of Christ, through, faith, con- 
ferred upon a returning sinner, than 
he is also really born again, and the 
image of God is daily renewed within 
him. His spiritual growth, or the 
renovation of his mind, goes on, how- 
ever, in a successive manner, from 
one degree to another, for he has not 
yet become a "perfect man in Christ." 
Eph. 4 : 13. He is a child for some 
time; but is continually nourished by 
the Divine Spirit, and daily brought 
to a greater conformity with the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

2. For the whole life of a Christian 
upon earth, is properly nothing else 
than a continual renewing of the image 
of God in his soul : so that he may 
constantly live in the new birth, and 
daily mortify that which is old and 
corrupt, till the body of sin be event- 
ually destroyed. Eom. 6 : 4. This life 
must be begun in this world, that so it 
may be perfected in that which is to 
come. Whereas, in whomsoever the 
renewal of this divine life shall not be 
begun before his departure from this 
world, in him it never shall be accom- 
plished. Wherefore I have thought 
it might be well briefly to repeat what 
is here meant by the image of God, 
which is to be revived; and what by 
the image of the devil, which is to be 
obliterated and destroyed in man's 
soul: for in the right knowledge of 
these two, the substance of our whole 
religion consists. It is the main point 
upon which all turns, and from which 
many other articles (as that of Orig- 
inal Sin, free-will, repentance, conver- 
sion, faith, justification, prayer, the 
new birth, sanctification, and lastly, 
obedience, and the whole practice of 
a religious life), borrow no small light. 



Of this, the following remarks will 
give an account. 

3. The soul of man is an immortal 
spirit, endowed of God with excellent 
faculties ; as the understanding, will, 
memory, and other powers and affec- 
tions. 

4. See that thou turn all these to- 
wards thy God, in order to behold him 
therein as in a mirror ; and, by behold- 
ing him, to have his image gradually 
formed in thy soul. In this sense the 
apostle speaks of "the glory of the 
Lord," which we behold " with an 
open face," without vail and shadows. 
2. Cor. 3 : 18. 

5. As God is a truly good and holy 
Being • so also were the substance of 
the soul, and its true nature and es- 
sence, originally good and holy. And 
as in God there is nothing of evil; 
even so was the soul of man, in the 
beginning, free from all manner of 
evil. As in God there is nothing but 
what is right ; so in the soul there was 
nothing at first but what was right 
also. For He is the rock, whose " work 
is perfect;" even "a God of truth, and 
without iniquity, just and right is he." 
Deut.32:4; Ps. 92:15. As God is 
wise, so was also the human soul full 
of divine and spiritual knowledge, of 
heavenly and eternal wisdom. And 
as the divine wisdom ordered all 
things in number, weight, and meas- 
ure, and knew the powers of all crea- 
tures, as well in heaven as in earth : 
so also was the mind of man possessed 
of the same light and knowledge. 

6. And as it was with the under- 
standing, so it was with the will : for 
as the one was the image and reflec- 
tion of the divine understanding, so 
was the other of the divine will, in 
everything. It was holy as the pat- 
tern was holy, and conformed to the 
will of God. Hence, as God himself 



144 



TEÜE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



is, so was the human soul; righteous, 
loving, merciful, long-suffering, pa- 
tient, meek, gentle, true, and pure. 
Exod. 34:6; Ps. 103:8; Joel 2:13. 
Yea, all the passions or affections, all 
the appetites, and motions of the heart, 
being made most perfectly conform- 
able to the motions and affections of 
the divine mind, partook of this con- 
formity of the will of man to that of 
God. As, therefore, God is love, so 
all the affections and motions of man, 
in his first state, breathed nothing but 
pure love. As God, the Father, the 
Son, and the Holy Ghost, are one in 
an unspeakable and eternal bond of 
love ; so all the affections and desires 
of man, burned with a most perfect 
and ardent love, and he cleaved unto 
God fully with all the powers and fac- 
ulties which he had; "with all his 
heart, and with all his soul, and with 
all his might" (Deut. 6:5); so that man 
verily loved God more than himself, 
and preferred God and His honor, to 
himself and his own. 

7. But as the image of God shone 
forth in the soul, so the image of the 
soul again shone forth in and from the 
body. This, therefore, was holy, chaste, 
and pure throughout, not subject to 
any unclean motion or lust. It was 
undefiled and without blemish. It 
was in every respect, beautiful, well 
proportioned, and graceful; of vigor- 
ous health, and possessed of a consti- 
tution even out of the very danger of 
sickness. It was such as death itself 
had no power over, and it was per- 
fectly free from pain, listlessness, pas- 
sion, grief, and old age, now the com- 
mon attendants and warnings of 
man's mortality. In a word, the whole 
man, both in soul and body, was pure, 
holy, righteous, and every way ac- 
ceptable to God. For, in order that 
man might be the image of God, it 



was necessary that his body should be 
holy, and conformable to God, as well 
as his soul. Accordingly, St. Paul 
both exhorts and prays, that the body, 
together with the spirit and soul, be 
sanctified wholly ; and be preserved 
holy and blameless unto the coming 
of our Lord. 1 Thess. 5 : 23. For since 
man is made up of soul and body, and 
exercises both bodily and spiritual 
functions, there was a necessity that 
the instrument through which the soul 
was to act, should be pliable and obe- 
dient, adapted to the nature of the 
soul, and holy as the soul was holy; 
to the end that the holy and righteous 
soul, might finish her work through 
the body without any obstacle or re- 
sistance. As, therefore, the soul burned 
with the pure love of God : so did all 
the powers of the body manifest and 
exert themselves in the love of God 
and man. As the soul was altogether 
merciful ; so also the body was, with 
its whole might, and all its faculties, 
impelled to tenderness and compas- 
sion. As chastity shone forth from 
the soul, which was altogether pure; 
so the whole body, in like manner, 
with all the inward and outward 
senses and powers thereof, visibly set 
forth the most perfect purity and chas- 
tity. To conclude, the virtues no less 
gloriously shone in the body, than in 
the soul itself; so that the body was 
the holy instrument of the soul, in 
everything suited to it, and worked 
together with it. And hence man in 
the state of innocency, was able to love 
God with all his heart, with all his soul, 
with all his strength, and with all his 
mind, and to love his neighbor as himself: 
which is the very substance both of 
the old and new law given to man. 
Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37,39; Luke 
10 : 27. Hence, as often as God calls 
for the heart of man, we are to under- 



Chap. XLL] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



145 



stand the whole man, both as to body 
and soul, and the powers, faculties, 
and operations of both. In this sense, 
the word " heart" is frequently taken 
in Scripture ; so that under it are com- 
prehended all the powers of the soul, 
as the understanding, will, and mem- 
ory, together with all the desires and 
affections attendant on them. So when 
God demands a man's soul, he, under 
that name, requires not a part, but the 
whole of a man. He must, in all his 
powers, be conformed to God, and re- 
newed in Christ Jesus: and thus man, 
having put off the old nature, and 
being renewed in the spirit of his 
mind, must also walk in newness of 
life, and in the spirit by which he 
was begotten again. Gal. 5 : 16 ;. Eph. 
4:23. 

8. Moreover, there was a perfect joy 
in God, which accompanied this perfec- 
tion of holiness, righteousness, and 
divine love, in man. By this, all the 
faculties and springs, both of soul and 
body, were most powerfully affected : 
for wherever divine holiness resides, 
there also divine joy must be present. 
These two are knit together with an 
everlasting bond, and make up the 
very image of God. Yet, as in this 
life, the divine righteousness and holi- 
ness are but imperfect in us, so we but 
taste, while here, only the first fruits 
of that joy which shall be fully re- 
vealed hereafter. However, as the 
righteousness of Christ is verily begun 
in sincere believers, so it follows that 
they also enjoy a real beginning and 
foretaste of divine joy and comfort; 
as those Christians can abundantly 
attest, that have learned religion by 
experience. John 16:22; 2 Cor. 1:5; 
Phil. 4 : 4. Whatever progress, there- 
fore, any one makes in the love of 
God, be it more or less, so much of 
divine joy does he also perceive in his 



soul. And this holy and divine love, 
as it shall in the next life attain its 
full perfection, so in that day the Chris- 
tian's joy (arising from love) shall also 
be full, as the Lord himself declares. 
John 15:11; 16:22. For divine love 
is the only true life, and the only true 
joy: but where this love of God is 
wanting, there is neither joy nor life ; 
but death itself, and the everlasting, 
portion of wicked men and devils. 
Whence has a father joy? Is it not 
from the love of his children ? Whence 
has a bridegroom joy ? Is it not from 
the love of the bride ? Isaiah 61 : 10 ; 
62 : 5. Eut infinitely sweeter must 
that joy be, which is derived from the 
love of our Creator ! He not only em- 
braces us as a father does his children, 
but he rejoices over us as over his bride ; 
nay, most tenderly kisses us " with 
the kisses of his mouth" (Cant. 1 : 2.), 
(that is, in Christ, who is his mouth 
and word), and coming to us, through 
Christ with the Holy Ghost, makes 
his abode with us. John 14 : 23. Take 
heed, however, concerning this image 
of God, which consists in a conformity 
with God, that you do not therefore 
think, as if man were made equal with 
God in holiness. Not by any means. 
For God is infinite as to his essence, 
virtues, and properties; he is incom- 
prehensible, and without bounds; so 
that nothing in the world can be com- 
pared with him. Man therefore, even, 
in his first state, could not properly be 
said to bear God in him; being de- 
signed only to bear his image, as it has 
been already explained in Chapter L. 
of this Book. 

9. That which has now been stated, 
concerning the image of God, is plain,, 
true, and beyond all doubt. It cannot 
be denied, that God created man, to. 
be a bright mirror of himself: so that, 
if man had been desirous to know tha 



10 



146 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



nature of God, he might, by looking 
into himself, have beheld God there, 
as in a glass, and clearly perceived the 
image of the Deity within his own 
breast. 

10. This image was the life and 
blessedness of man; but the devil, 
looking with envious eyes upon this 
image of God in man, exerted all his 
art and cunning to efface it, by raising 
in man a spirit of disobedience and 
enmity against God. Gen. 3 : 1, etc. 
This he accordingly effected with a 
subtility and haste, that never were 
since seen. He was not ignorant, that 
if man had continued in that state, he 
would have been the master : but that 
if he could be induced to fall from it, 
that the devil would thereby become 
the lord (or rather the tyrant) of fallen 
man. When, therefore, with all the 
powers of his cunning and malice, he 
could devise nothing more likely to ac- 
complish his design than that by which 
he himself lost his first state or prin- 
cipality, he began, in a seductive man- 
ner, to insinuate into the imagination 
of the woman, no less than an affec- 
tation of the Divine Majesty. What 
can appear more divine, or what is 
there more noble to be wished for, 
than to "be as God" ? Gen. 3:5. By 
this cunningly contrived method, man 
being therefore circumvented, he lost 
the divine image at once; and the im- 
age of Satan, consisting in an affecta- 
tion of the Divine Majesty, was im- 
pressed upon him. 

11. This aspiring thought, by which 
man threw off all his dependence on 
God, being thus begotten in the mind; 
and this haughty arrogance having 
once seized the imagination, there fol- 
lowed immediately apostasy from God, 
disobedience, and transgression of the 
commandment concerning the forbid- 
den tree. Hereupon the image of God 



was extinguished, the Holy Spirit de- 
parted from man, and the image of 
Satan was imprinted instead of that 
which was effaced. Hence now there 
are so many men, so many slaves of 
the devil. The devil having thus 
gained his object in subjecting man to 
his dominion, most cruelly tyrannized 
over him; just as a giant may be sup- 
posed to do over a little infant. Hence 
the understanding in man is darkened 
and blinded ; the will is, by a complete 
disobedience, turned from God; and 
all the springs and powers of the heart 
are stirred up against God in utter 
malice. In a word, the whole image 
of God lieth now slain in man, and 
the whole race of mankind, being 
swayed by the satanical nature, have 
a seed sown in them full of the deepest 
malignity. Hence men became the 
offspring of Satan, and his living like- 
ness, being poisoned with all manner 
of sin and enmity against God. Thus 
died man ! Thus died he the death ev- 
erlasting ! For as the image of God is 
the life and salvation of man, so the 
departure of this image is the death 
of man, even death eternal, and his 
damnation, which is also called a death 
"in trespasses and sins." Eph. 2:1; 
Col. 2 : 13. 

12. They best understand this death, 
who, having been cast into deep spir- 
itual temptations, sensibly feel the de- 
vil's rage and tyranny over them. By 
this he torments the soul beyond what 
it is in the ordinary power of sin to 
effect. Now, unless the Holy Ghost 
shine in upon the soul under this ter- 
rible affliction, and by darting in some 
ray of his light comfort it ; the devil 
slays the man with this death, and 
racks the soul with the very anguish 
of hell itself. Hence all the natural 
force of the body sinks, the strength 
fails, the heart withers and pants, and 



Chap. XLI.j 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



147 



the very marrow in the bones con- 
sumes away, so that there is no sound- 
ness left in the body. This state is 
described at large, in Psalms 6 and 
38. The word of God itself, to such 
a one, seems dead and lifeless : he finds 
in it no manner of devotion, no savor 
of spiritual life. This is the spiritual 
death, into which the soul is fallen : 
and while the soul remains thus spir- 
itually dead, all human holiness, right- 
eousness, excellency, might, power, 
glory, honor, arts, and wisdom, can 
avail nothing. And, truly, man would 
undoubtedly perish in this grievous 
condition, if he were not supported by 
divine grace : for nothing but this is 
able to succor him. 

13. Learn, therefore, O man, duly 
to look into, and rightly to consider 
the abominable filthiness of Original 
Sin, as the sink of all abomination. 
For by this the hereditary righteous- 
ness of God was lost, and the heredi- 
tary unrighteousness of the devil 
transplanted into men. Hence the 
sinner was cast away from God, and 
doomed to an eternal death : and this 
he must certainly undergo, except he 
obtain forgiveness of sin for Christ's 
sake through faith. 

14. But to set the state of fallen 
man, both as to soul and body, in as 
clear a light as possibly I can, I think 
it well to give a fuller description 
thereof in this place ; most earnestly 
entreating every one, for the sake of 
God and of his own eternal salvation, 
to ponder again and again, and seri- 
ously to revolve in his mind that orig- 
inal depravity which has corrupted our 
nature. The consequence of this will 
be, that as a man beholds his bodily 
face in a glass, and knows it, so he 
may also behold in himself his own 
wretchedness, and original sin. This 
will daily influence him to lament his 



own distressed condition, and to sigh 
after Him, who alone is able to heal 
us. 

15. For the whole Christian life is 
indeed nothing else, than a constant 
wrestling with original sin, and a con- 
tinual purging away of the same by 
the aid of the Holy Ghost, and by 
true repentance. For, in proportion 
as any one mortifies his natural pro- 
pensity to evil, in that degree is he re- 
newed after the image of God, even 
day by day; and they who are not in- 
wardly mortified by the Holy Ghost, 
are at best no more than hypocrites, 
let them make ever so great a show 
with an external profession of the 
Christian faith. Neither can they ex- 
pect to enter into the kingdom of God, 
since they are not renewed into his 
image : for whatsoever is not dead to 
itself, nor renewed into the image of 
God by his Spirit, is altogether unfit 
for that glorious state. 

16. From all this, there may evi- 
dently be inferred the absolute neces- 
sity of the new birth, and of the daily 
renovation of our mind into the image 
of God. This necessity will yet more 
fully appear, when we consider the 
image of the devil according as the 
law describes it. For as the devil not 
only does not love God, but rather 
hates him with his whole heart; so he 
has infected man's soul with the same 
contagion, and transfused into it mal- 
ice against God; so that now man by 
nature neither loves, honors, believes, 
calls upon, nor trusts in God ; but as 
he is filled with enmity against him, 
so he flees from him, and shuns him. 
As the devil is hurried on with a blind 
fury, and lives without God and his 
will; so in like manner, the soul of 
man being corrupted by him, leads a 
godless life, unmindful of God and of 
his will. This inward darkness of the 



148 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



mind, is attended with a frightful de- 
struction of the divine light and im- 
age ; and brings forth that abomina- 
ble sin, in which man, left to himself, 
saith: "There is no God." Ps. 14:1. 
And by reason of this blindness of 
heart, all mankind are become an 
abomination before God, in all their 
ways. 

17. But notwithstanding so dreadful 
a night of apostasy, there still remains 
a spark of natural light in man's un- 
derstanding, by which he might come 
to know that there is a God (Eom. 1 : 
20); as also, that this God must be 
just, according as all the heathen 
philosophers teach : but as for the 
spiritual life, which is after God and 
his righteousness, it was wholly ex- 
tinguished in man. For conscience, 
which is the law of God written in 
every man's heart when it was first 
formed by him, teaches every one 
what is good and right. Thus if you 
look, for instance, upon a person that 
is unchaste, there is not one that so 
much wallows in the filth of the flesh, 
but he now and then thinks with him- 
self, " Surely there is a God, and this 
God is most pure and undefiled; and 
so not like to me by any means." He 
cannot but reflect further: "This holy 
and pure God, must abhor every sort 
of pollution and uncleanness; and, 
therefore, if I would be acceptable to 
him, I ought to live chastely, and to 
abstain from all impurity." But this 
spark of light is soon put out by the 
filthy lusts of the flesh which crowd 
in upon the mind; these overwhelm 
all good impressions, just as a spark 
of fire is swallowed up by a flood of 
water. The lust of the flesh is kept 

^within the heart, and the conviction, 
which began to reprove it, is soon 
stifled. 

18. From this it plainly appears, 



that the spiritual life, consisting in 
holy love and truth, is in the carnal 
or natural man utterly abolished. And 
thus the wiser sort of heathens, how- 
ever they might sometimes by the 
light of nature maintain both the be- 
ing of a God, and his providence over 
human affairs, were soon carried away 
with the darkness of their own hearts, 
and again called in question that prov- 
idence which they had before asserted : 
so that very little is to be made of 
what they say on this head. This 
their books sufficiently declare. From 
this hereditary blindness of heart, and 
this natural inbred darkness, spring- 
unbelief and doubts. And because all 
men are by nature in this degenerate 
state, they are an abomination in the 
sight of God; since there is no faith 
in them, nor any filial reliance upon 
the paternal goodness of God. To 
this spiritual life, and to the various 
operations that proceed from it, the 
natural man is an utter stranger; 
consequently he does not call upon 
God, but trusts to his own wisdom, 
power, and strength. This is the 
greatest blindness and darkness of 
mind possible. 

19. From this blindness of heart, 
further arise both a contempt of God, 
and a state of carnal security. As the 
devil does not humble himself before 
God, but is hardened in pride; so has 
he infected the soul of man with the 
same vice, and poisoned it with con- 
tempt of God, security, and presump- 
tion. Hence he, like his father the 
devil (John 8:44), will not humble 
himself before God ; but is stout and 
insolent, haughty and self-willed, and 
would do everything after his own 
will, without the least fear of the Lord 
to keep him awe. As the devil relies 
on his own strength and wisdom, and 
thereby entirely governs himself; so 



Chap. XLL] 



TKUE CHEISTIANITY. 



149 



fallen man, being infected with the con- 
tagion of Satan, acts in conformity with 
him j and will always be his own coun- 
sellor and master. Moreover, as the 
devil seeks his own honor, so does the 
natural man, who bears his image. 
He is in pursuit of self-honor, without 
any regard to his Maker, whose honor 
he was designed to promote. As the 
devil blasphemes the name of God, and 
is ungrateful to his Creator; so it is 
with man, transformed into his image. 
As the devil is unmerciful, wrathful, 
and revengeful, so is the soul of man, 
which he has soured with the same 
leaven of malice. As the devil delights 
to lord it over men, and to please him- 
self with vainglory, so man, tainted 
with the same tyrannical ambition, 
haughtily lifts himself up above others. 
He laughs at his neighbor, and shuns 
his company, as if he were a worthless, 
pitiful person, and too great a sinner 
to be conversed with. But, O man! 
thou art to consider over and over 
again, that in these, and all other 
cases, the method of God is not to 
charge or accuse the outward mem- 
bers of a man, but the heart only. The 
heart is the murderer and the liar, not 
the hand nor the mouth. It is the 
soul that is guilty; and this is there- 
fore everywhere arraigned in Scrip- 
ture. So when God commands men 
to call upon him in the time of trouble 
(Ps. 50 : 15), he gives this command to 
the soul, not to the lips. And it is the 
very same in every other case. Who- 
soever does not observe this necessary 
rule in reading the Scriptures, is blind 
indeed. He can never have a right 
apprehension of original sin, repent- 
ance, or regeneration : nay, he cannot 
attain to a sound knowledge of any 
one article of the Christian religion. 
20. We have daily before our eyes 
the extreme wickedness of men, their 



horrid pride, savage hatred, barbarous 
enviousness, and other impious quali- 
ties, with which they tear one another, 
after the manner of wild beasts. Many 
are transported to such a degree of 
malice, as to be unconcerned about 
their own lives, provided they can but 
hurt or destroy another. Their neigh- 
bor must submit to their pleasure, or 
expect to have a snare laid for his 
ruin. Thus, as the devil himself is a 
" murderer from the beginning " (John 
8 : 44) ; so he stirs up the soul of man 
to thirst after the blood of others. 
For all these inhuman qualities of the 
heart, this envy and wrath, this bit- 
terness of mind, this rancor and 
malice, what are they but the seed of 
the devil sown in man, and his express 
image engraven upon the soul ? Alas ! 
how the devil has portrayed himself 
in man ! 

21. God had implanted in man a 
conjugal affection, that was pure and 
honorable ; that thence children might 
be begotten after the divine image. 
Nor could there have been a love more 
holy and heavenly, than that by which 
man, in his blessed estate, would have 
thus propagated the image of God 
and mankind at the same time. All 
would have been for the glory of his 
Creator, and the salvation of man. 
Nay, if man in the state of innocency 
could have begotten a vast multitude 
of children, and have thus propagated 
the honor and image of God ; nothing, 
certainly, could have been more grate- 
ful to him than this ; nothing more 
delightful, more full of holy joy and 
satisfaction. For these acts would 
then have proceeded from pure love 
to God and to men, as so many images 
of the Supreme Good. As God found 
in the creation of man, a holy pleas- 
ure, and delighted in him, as in his 
image; so also man would, in like 



150 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



manner, have been sensible of a most 
pure and exquisite joy in the procrea- 
tion of his like, for it would have been 
the propagation of God's image. But, 
alas ! Satan has polluted this chaste 
flame of conjugal love with all unclean- 
ness. Men and women, actuated with 
a blind transport of lust, beget chil- 
dren in their own, not in God's like- 
ness. Gen. 5 : 3. How is the holy bond 
of matrimony trampled upon and pro- 
faned ! How wholly defiled is it with 
spots of the flesh, and what a multi- 
tude of vices and impurities now shel- 
ter themselves under the sacred name 
of matrimony ! 

22. As God is just, the devil is un- 
just. The devil is therefore a thief, a 
plunderer; and being so in himself, has 
instilled into man's soul the same un- 
just disposition, the same ravenous 
nature. The devil is a false accuser 
(Eev. 12 : 10), a fallacious reasoner 
(2 Cor. 11:3), and a treacherous in- 
former (Job 1 : 9, 10), as well as a 
scornful mocker of God and man. 
Job 2 : 3, 4, 5. He misrepresents both 
words and actions, and wrests them to 
a wrong sense. Of this artful contriv- 
ance he gave a striking instance when 
he beguiled our first parents by his 
craft and subtlety. Gen. 3 : 5-7. Thus 
the soul of man, corrupted by Satan, 
has received from him, as by inherit- 
ance, a perverse and lying nature. 
John 8 : 44. This poison, conveyed 
into the soul, is so horrible and so 
manifold, as to render it altogether 
impossible to declare at large the sub- 
tile contrivances, and the different 
kinds of diabolical art and cunning 
that proceed from it. Eph. 6: 11. Eead 
Psalm 5 : 9, Eomans 3 : 13, and James 
3:5,6; and thou shalt find described 
therein in the most lively terms, that 
world of wickedness, which by a de- 
ceitful tongue is drawn forth from the 



diabolical venom that lurks within, 
and that thence spreads itself through 
the whole man. For God does not 
blame the tongue, or the hands alone, 
but in his law, charges the fault upon 
the whole man, yea, upon the heart, 
as the chief cause of all the evils com- 
mitted. See the Commandments, in 
Exodus 20 : 16, 17. This ought to be 
particularly observed in the whole 
course of a religious life. 

23. And this is that image of the 
devil, which now, instead of the im- 
age of God, is so deeply engraven on 
the soul. Hereby man is made to de- 
light in sinning, and in slandering an- 
other, even as the devil's name im- 
ports. Eev. 12 : 10. How many, alas I 
are there, that reckon themselves very 
good Christians, and yet will not hesi- 
tate to slander their neighbor upon 
any occasion that offers; and after 
they have discharged their venom 
against him, will applaud themselves 
for what they have done. Such a man 
will say: u This is just what I have 
sought for a long while; I am now 
eased of a great burden; I seem to be 
alive again, as I have so finely treated 
such a one." Ah ! poor man, thou art 
to be pitied! How great is thy blind- 
ness, that thou dost not discern who 
it is that has transformed thee into 
such a devil and slanderer ; and whose 
image it is thou carriest about thee! 
Seest thou not that this is the very 
nature of the devil, the unhappy seed 
of Satan ? Discernest thou not this to 
be his true temper, which he has im- 
planted in the soul of man, that it 
might there display itself, in all sorts 
of vices, but more particularly in 
pride, covetousness, lust, and slander; 
even as daily experience abundantly 
witnesses ? Alas, is this thy wit, and 
cunning, and wisdom? 

24. Behold, O man ! the foul, the 



Chap. XLL] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



151 



horrible, the profound corruption of 
Original Sin ! O how filthy, how un- 
searchable it is ! Consider this again 
and again ; and descending into thy- 
self, learn there to know the image 
and nature of Satan, which, like a 
gangrene, is spread through thy whole 
soul, together with all the dangerous 
symptoms that attend it. And learn 
how thy soul is hence become an 
abomination before God, and is laid 
waste in so dreadful a manner, that 
no creature is able thoroughly to 
search out the malignity of the heart 
of man. Neither art thou thyself 
able sufficiently to explore it, or to 
explain in words, that detestable 
venom which is as rottenness in thy 
innermost parts. Wherefore, I earn- 
estly beseech and entreat every one, 
that he ponder with himself, and seri- 
ously reflect on those things that have 
been said concerning the depravity and 
corruption of man's heart; even as if 
they had been inculcated a thousand 
and thousand times, over and over 
again. For so great is this virulence, 
so malignant and pestilential, as to 
put it beyond the power of any crea- 
ture, either angel or man, ever to root 
it out, or to cleanse or free our nature 
from it. All the powers of men come 
short of so great a performance. For 
how should any one be able to work 
out his salvation with his own natural 
powers, since they all without ex- 
ception are utterly depraved, and dead 
to spiritual things? Man, therefore, 
must be forever miserable, and eter- 
nally lost in this corruption, unless 
there come to his help one that is able 
to succor, and to apply a healing med- 
icine to so dreadful a disease. This 
must be a lord over sin and death, 
able to subdue so obstinate an evil, 
and by his divine virtue, to renew, 
transform, and purify again the de- 



filed nature of man. All this is a con- 
vincing proof, that justification cannot 
be the work of man, but is the work 
of God only ; and likewise that re- 
generation, or the being born again by 
the Spirit, is indispensably needful to 
the restoring of fallen nature. For in 
conformity to the inward principle of 
corruption, there is now a sort of ne- 
cessity that the soul should live a per- 
verse and impious life. Man does not 
now hesitate openly to transgress all 
the commandments of God ; and this 
is enmity against God. The under- 
standing and will are now so dead, 
and so much enslaved by sin, that ac- 
cording to their natural bent, they are 
incapable of any love, fear, or rever- 
ence for God. They cannot call upon 
him, honor him, praise, or worship 
him; they cannot put the least trust 
in him, or turn themselves towards 
him. Many of the heathens have, in- 
deed, been illustrious for their good 
and virtuous deeds, and gained no 
small credit by their morality. But 
it is utterly impossible for nature to 
change the heart, to turn it to God, and 
to cleanse it from those sinful affec- 
tions that lurk within. This work is 
to be accomplished only by a divine 
power. For notwithstanding all this 
glittering show of morality which, 
some make, there still remains the in- 
ward root of the tree of evil, whose- 
fibres stick so fast in the soul, that no 
human power can ever destroy them. 
The utmost that a man can do in so, 
sad a case, is to prevent the fire from; 
breaking out into flames, so as to con- 
sume all that comes near it ; but not- 
withstanding this damp which is cast 
upon it, the evil fire still keeps in, and. 
secretly burns as much as ever. 

25. Were not human life, and the- 
management of civil and social affairs, 
under some check, the whole race of 



152 



TEXTE CHBISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



mankind would be destroyed at once, 
and rooted up from off the face of the 
earth. But though the devil has ex- 
ercised an exceedingly great cruelty 
over man, yet God has not suffered 
him to pluck up all the natural powers 
and affections from man's soul, or to 
extinguish the spark of free will which 
remains in the soul. There still re- 
main the law of nature and the nat- 
ural love subsisting betwixt husband 
and wife, parents and children. With- 
out this it would have been impossible 
for mankind to have long subsisted 
upon earth. For he who obeys the 
unbridled lusts and desires of his cor- 
rupt nature, must be looked upon as 
the very bane of all society. He en- 
tirely ruins, as much as in him lies, all 
commerce and dealings betwixt men. 
It is, therefore, an effect both of God's 
mercy and wisdom, that he has pre- 
served in fallen man this little flame 
of natural love : the design of which 
is, that by the sense of this love, we 
might know in some degree the excel- 
lency of that spiritual and divine love 
which we have lost by the fall of man; 
and that from feeling the one, we 
might be brought to consider the 
worth of the other, and to breathe af- 
ter the recovery of the same. But as 
to spiritual matters, and such things as 
more immediately concern the happi- 
ness of the soul, and the kingdom of 
God, nothing can be more true than 
that saying of the apostle, "The nat- 
ural man receiveth not the things of 
the Spirit of God ; for they are fool- 
ishness unto him : neither can he know 
them, because they are spiritually dis- 
cerned." 1 Cor. 2 : 14. That is, man 
in his natural state, has not so much 
.as one spark of spiritual and divine 
iiight ; but is wholly blind in the things 
tthat appertain to the heavenly life, 
^nd that constitute the image of God 



in the new creature. Man, neverthe- 
less, was created for this only end, 
that by means of this spiritual light, 
he might, with the inward eye of the 
soul, contemplate the gracious pres- 
ence of God, and his sincere love to- 
wards him; and, continually walking 
with and before the Lord, absolutely 
depend upon Him, and submit himself 
to be governed by His will and pleas- 
ure. 

26. The natural man not having so 
much as one spark left of this spirit- 
ual light, it cannot but be that all men 
must abide in their natural blindness, 
unless they be enlightened by God 
himself. This is that hereditary spir- 
itual blindness, which utterly incapac- 
itates us for the knowledge of such 
concerns as relate to the kingdom of 
God. But if it happen, as too often it 
does, that a man besides this, indulge 
in evil practices, then that spiritual 
blindness is followed still by another, 
even natural blindness, which pro- 
duces mournful effects in the fallen 
soul. For by so prevailing a wicked- 
ness, that weak glimmering light 
which yet sparkles in man, and would 
reason him into outward honesty of 
life, is at last totally extinguished ; 
and the soul is struck with utter 
blindness and darkness of heart, and 
must forever continue so, unless Christ 
enlightens it. 

27. What art thou, then, O man, 
unless Christ by his Spirit regenerate 
thee, make thee a new creature, and 
transform thee into the image of God ? 
This new creation, necessary as it is, 
is, however, only begun in this life, 
and must struggle under the weight 
of many infirmities. If thou dost but 
look into thyself, even after thou art 
become a new creature through the 
Holy Ghost, it will plainly appear 
that the image of God is but slightly 



Chap. XLIL] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



153 



delineated, and, as it were, shadowed 
out in thee. Dost thou not see, that 
faith, hope, charity, and the fear of the 
Lord, are as yet but weak, and hardly 
able to advance beyond the first prin- 
ciples of the Christian life? Dost thou 
not see how slender thy humility is, 
and how deeply the sin of distrust, 
pride, and impatience, is rooted in thy 
breast ? Dost thou not find thy devo- 
tion weak and languid ; and thy char- 
ity towards thy neighbor compara- 
tively cold ? How tender a spark of 
pure chastity remains in the heart; 
and how vast a fire of carnal desire 
burns within ! How faint the one, how 
violent the other! How great still are 
thy self-love, self-honor, and interest, 
sins that lurk within, and do not al- 
ways outwardly appear ! And how 
fierce is the tide of evil concupiscence 
which flows in upon thee, and disturbs 
thy inward repose ! Whence it follows, 
that to the very last moment of our 
lives, we must, by the Spirit of God, 
continually wrestle with the old Adam, 
and with the image of Satan. All 
this urges us incessantly to pray, sigh, 



and seek, till the Divine Spirit be be- 
stowed upon us, in order to destroy 
the image of Satan daily, and to re- 
store the imao;e of God to us. 

28. From all this, thou canst easily 
understand, O man ! that thou art never 
to rely on thine own strength ; but en- 
tirely to cleave to the grace of God, 
which alone is able to work all this in 
thy soul. All things are to be sought 
and obtained from and by Christ 
through faith. From Him thou art to 
receive divine knowledge and wisdom, 
against thy own blindness ; his right- 
eousness, against all thy unrighteous- 
ness; his holiness against all thy im- 
purity ; a full redemption, power, and 
victory, against death, hell, and the 
devil. From Christ thou must obtain 
remission of all thy sins, against the 
kingdom of sin and Satan, and against 
all the combined powers thereof; and, 
lastly, everlasting happiness, against 
all spiritual and bodily adversities 
and troubles. In this order, life eternal 
is to be derived from Christ. But of 
this, more shall be said in the Second 
Book of this volume. 



CHAPTER XLIL 

IN THIS CONCLUDING CHAPTER THE REASONS FOR ADOPTING THE METHOD OB- 
SERVED IN BOOK I. ARE EXPLAINED J THE DUTY OF GUARDING AGAINST 
SPIRITUAL PRIDE IS DESCRIBED, AND THE TRUTH IS SET FORTH THAT TRUE 
SPIRITUAL GIFTS CANNOT BE OBTAINED WITHOUT PRAYER. 

What hast thou that thou didst not receive ? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as 
if thou hadst not received it ? — 1 Cor. 4 : 7. 



IEEGAED it as necessary, before 
I conclude this Book, to call the 
reader's attention to several points. 

2. In this Book, repentance and its 
fruits, have, for various reasons, been 



explained at large, and in different 
ways. Most of the Chapters in this 
Book, accordingly, treat upon the 
fruits of true repentance ; such as our 
renovation in Christ, the daily morti- 



154 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



fication of the flesh, the practice of 
self-denial, contempt of the world, the 
exercise of charity, etc. For therein 
we find the beginning and foundation 
of true Christianity, of a holy life, 
and of salvation itself, through true 
faith. So, too, no solid comfort can 
ever be tasted in the heart of man, 
unless he be thoroughly acquainted 
with the nature of Original Sin, that 
dreadful, mortal, and diabolical evil, 
which is like an infernal poison (ah, 
it is impossible sufficiently to describe 
and deplore it!) and has proved the 
seed of a multitude of fatal and per- 
nicious fruits. All the books of com- 
fort, and all the promises with which 
the Gospel abounds, afford no substan- 
tial consolation to a man, except he 
be first thoroughly humbled by a 
sense of his misery, and of that awful 
evil, Original Sin. Man, in this fallen 
state, is too apt to flatter himself, and 
to look for comfort, before a thorough 
search has been made into his own 
sinful condition, degeneracy, and apos- 
tasy from God. Nature is concerned 
for comfort more than for a cure. 

3. But this is very preposterous, 
and altogether against the tenor of 
Scripture, and the method of salvation 
therein explained. Our Lord says, 
" The whole need not a physician, but 
they that are sick/' Matt. 9 : 12. No 
cure can be expected, no medicine can 
be prescribed, no comfort can be ap- 
plied, nor can Christ himself, the great 
Physician of souls, be of any benefit 
at all, so long as a man, thinking him- 
self well, is not sensible of those deep 
distempers that rage in his soul. 
Hence a true Christian's life consists 
in a daily crucifixion of the flesh, and 
of all its sinful propensities. O that 
every one might lay this earnestly to 
heart ! No man can belong to Christ, 
or have a share in his merits, but he 



that regulates his life according to 
this rule. Now, such a soul shall not 
be left comfortless in the end ; but, 
shall be refreshed with divine consola- 
tion. No sooner is a soul thoroughly 
humbled by a lively sense of inbred 
corruption, and the infectious influence 
it hath on all the actions, than it is 
raised again by those suitable grounds 
of comfort which the Gospel affords. 
In all this, the operation of the Divine 
Spirit, and man's meditation on the 
word of promise, concur, and bring 
over the soul to Christ, who is both 
willing and able to heal her, and to 
turn her mourning into permanent 
gladness. He who will enter upon 
this course of true and sincere repent- 
ance, must be careful, at the same time, 
not to be shaken by the foolish judg- 
ment which this impious world will 
be apt to pass upon the whole design 
of true Christianity. Let the profane 
worldling think ever so much of his 
own natural parts and wisdom, it is 
certain that he is altogether blind in 
the things of the Spirit of God, and 
most ignorant. And though he may 
exercise his reasoning faculty on 
things that are far above his reach 
and capacity, yet while he has no 
knowledge of the wretchedness of his 
own nature, and of those spiritual dis- 
eases that spring from it, he continues 
an utter stranger to spiritual con- 
cerns. He does not understand what 
Adam and Christ are, or how Adam is 
to die, and Christ to live in us again. 
And as he disdains to learn what he 
knows not, he must forever remain 
in darkness and ignorance. Nor will 
he ever be able in that state to obtain 
any insight into the grounds and 
properties of true repentance, faith in 
Christ, and the new birth, wherein true 
Christianity consists, and whereby he 
might be rescued from everlasting ruin. 



Chap. XML] 



TEUB CHRISTIANITY. 



155 



4. The next thing which I would 
mention at the close of this Book, and 
which thou art carefully to avoid, is 
the sin of spiritual pride, after God has 
begun to implant in thee, by his grace, 
spiritual gifts, new virtues, new habits 
of mind, and new knowledge. See 
that thou ascribe these attainments 
not to thy own power, wisdom, or in- 
dustry, but to the grace of God. Care- 
fully avoid taking up thy rest in those 
virtues and good dispositions that are 
formed within thee ; and never con- 
fide in them as means of thy justifica- 
tion before God. For as they are yet 
marked by various defects and imper- 
fections, so they can never pass for 
the perfect righteousness of God. 
Never seek thy own honor and glory 
by the gifts which God has been 
pleased to bestow upon thee. On the 
contrary, use them with humility and 
fear, divesting thyself of all selfish 
designs, and returning all thou hast 
unto Him, who is the true Disposer 
and Author thereof. Do not say in 
thy heart: "I have now a strong 
faith, fervent charity, much knowl- 
edge, many gifts;" for these sugges- 
tions are the tares, which the enemy 
of thy soul sows among the wheat 
while thou sleepest. 

For, (a) none of these gifts are 
thine, but God's only, without whose 
illumination and all-quickening power, 
thou art but a lifeless lump of clay. 
These gifts are no more thine, than 
the light and heat of the sun are the 
earth's, which is warmed and pen- 
etrated by them. Thou art, at the 
best, but the casket to hold the jew- 
els ; and the glory of these no more 
belongs to thee, than the lustre of a 
precious stone belongs to the box in 
which it is kept. Is it not, therefore, 
great folly to boast of the goods of 
another, which are laid up in thee ? 



(b) Thou art to consider, that, as 
the lord of a treasure may lodge his 
treasure wherever he pleases, and re- 
move it as he thinks fit; so God, in 
like manner, may deposit his heavenly 
treasure in thee, and take it away 
again, as he sees proper. Him, there- 
fore, thou oughtest to fear with holy 
reverence, and at the same time care- 
fully beware of spiritual pride and 
presumption : for this would issue in 
the inevitable loss of the celestial 
jewel committed to thy trust. " Be 
not high-minded, but fear." Bom. 
11 : 20. 

(c) Thou art, further, to consider, 
that the righteous God will call thee 
to an exact account of all he has in- 
trusted to thy care. The more thou 
hast received, the more will he re- 
quire at thy hands. 

(d) In the midst of all thy gifts, do 
not think that thou hast received all 
that the Lord has in store for his chil- 
dren. Ah ! beloved Christian ! be thy 
attainments ever so high and excel- 
lent, they are hardly the beginning; 
there is yet much which thou lackest. 

(e) Seriously consider, that no good 
aud perfect gifts are obtained or pre- 
served except by prayer: for every 
good and perfect gift descendeth from 
God. James 1 : 17. Whatever thou 
seemest to possess without this, is but 
a lifeless shadow, a seed bearing no 
fruit, but withering away. For with- 
out prayer, no heavenly gift can de- 
scend into the heart of man. The 
reader is desired to peruse what is 
said on the subject of Prayer in the 
Second Book of this Work. There are 
two things which thou must chiefly 
regard in thy prayers and application 
to the Lord : first, That the Image of 
Satan be destroyed in thee; as unbelief, 
pride, covetousness, lust, wrath, etc.; 
secondly, That the Image of God be re- 



156 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book I. 



stored in thee; in which are contained 
faith, love, hope, humility, patience, 
meekness, and the fear of the Lord. 
These two, that is, the destruction of 
the satanic, and the restoration of the 
divine image, are illustrated in the 
Lord's Prayer. This prayer makes 
both against thee, and for thee. If the 
name of God alone is to be hallowed, 
then thy name must be debased and 
thy haughtiness be pulled down. If 
the kingdom of God shall come, then 
certainly the devil's kingdom must be 
overthrown in thee. If thou desirest 
that the will of God should be done, 
then truly thine own must be re- 
nounced. 



These are the two parts into which 
any useful prayer-book or method of 
prayer may be fitly digested ; an or- 
der which is clearly exhibited in the 
prayer of our Lord, so far as it respects 
those heavenly and eternal benefits 
and gifts which we are directed to 
seek. Nay, in the Lord's Prayer, all 
the treasures both for soul and body, 
and all the things which we need both 
for this life and that which is to come, 
are summed up. And there is no ques- 
tion, but that the Father in heaven, 
according to his paternal compassion, 
will readily grant, what the Son of 
his love has so strongly commanded 
us to ask. 



PREFACE TO THE SECOND BOOK 



AS in nature, my dear Christian 
reader, the destruction of one 
thing is the production of another; 
even so is it in a true Christian life. 
The old, carnal man must be destroyed 
and pass away, that so the new spir- 
itual man may be produced in his 
place. And as our carnal life is di- 
rectly contrary to the holy life of 
Christ (which in the preceding Book 
is sufficiently declared) ; it is abso- 
lutely needful that we renounce this 
carnal life, before we can attain the 
spiritual life of Christ, or follow him 
in those steps which he has been 
pleased to leave us. Thus, for in- 
stance, thou must put an end to thy 
pride, before thou canst be truly hum- 
ble; thou must cease from wrath, be- 
fore thou "canst possess the virtue of 
meekness. And this is the reason 
why the spiritual Christian's life ought 
to proceed from true repentance. This 
is also the design and substance of 
the preceding Book, as plainly appears 
both from the order in which the chap- 
ters are arranged, and from the Con- 
clusion appended to the whole Book. 

2. Since, however, there will be oc- 
casion to treat of the doctrine of re- 
pentance in some chapters of this Sec- 
ond Book, I shall now give some ac- 
count of the whole method into which 
this Book is digested. As the main 
design of the First Book was to lay 
open the nature of Original Sin, and 
the deadly influence which it has upon 
all our actions; so it is but fit that 
the Second Book should begin with 



Jesus Christ, that everlasting well- 
spring of man's salvation, in whom 
alone we find help and a remedy 
against the destructive poison of Orig- 
inal Sin, and against that flood of ca- 
lamities and miseries which thence 
proceeds. All this on man's side, is 
effected by faith, apprehending that 
salvation which is merited by Christ. 
This matter is explained in the first 
three chapters of this Book. As, how- 
ever, that/azYA which leads the soul to 
this fountain, and draws thence effects 
so excellent and good, also brings 
forth living and sound fruits; the next 
three chapters (IY-VI), are spent in 
describing the same more at large. 
But, even as the fruits of righteous- 
ness and of the Spirit are to grow up 
in us and wax strong, so must the 
fruits of the flesh, in proportion, decay 
and decrease. And this is the daily, 
effectual, and unfeigned repentance, 
wherein a Christian ought constantly 
to be employed, if ever the flesh be 
mortified, and the Spirit be restored 
to dominion. It was, therefore, judged 
expedient, to give here a clear de- 
scription of the difference betwixt the 
flesh and the Spirit, and of the proper- 
ties of a daily repentance. Here con- 
sult Chapters YII-X. But inasmuch 
as from this habitual repentance, and 
the mortification of the old man (the 
life of a true Christian being nothing 
else but a constant crucifixion of the 
flesh), the new man is daily to come 
forth, it is impossible to find a more 
perfect pattern, than that which our 

( 157 ) 



158 



PEEFACE TO THE SECOND BOOK. 



Lord Jesus Christ himself has left us. 
And for this reason, the life of Christ 
ought to be a mirror unto us, in which 
to view ourselves and him ; and by be- 
holding him, to embrace the more 
freely his poverty and reproach, his 
contempt and sorrow, his cross and 
passion, his agony and death. And 
this holy life of Christ is the death of 
the flesh, and is accompanied with the 
exercise of prayer, love, and humility. 
This is set forth at large in Chapters 
XI-XXY. 

3. Thus are the humility and lowli- 
ness of Christ a true ladder of ascen- 
sion for a penitent soul ; by means of 
which we ascend into the heart of 
God, as of a loving Father, and calmly 
repose in his paternal affection. It is 
the human nature of Christ with which 
we begin our spiritual life, and rising 
up higher and higher, arrive at last at 
his divine nature. It is then that we 
contemplate in Christ the heart of our 
Father in heaven. It is then that we 
behold him as the sublime, the ever- 
lasting, essential, and infinite Good; 
we behold him as the immeasurable 
omnipotence, as the unfathomable 
mercy, the unsearchable wisdom, the 
purest holiness, the unspotted and 
endless righteousness, the most per- 
fect goodness, the noblest beauty, the 
most perfect graciousness, and, at last, 



as the most joyful salvation. These 
points, as they chiefly make up Chris- 
tian contemplation, so they are ex- 
plained in Chapters XXYI-XXXIII. 
But because no one can ever arrive at 
this state without prayer, hence the 
ensuing ten Chapters (XXXIY- 
XLIII), treat upon the nature of 
prayer, and the exercise of divine 
praise. And since this life, grounded 
on maxims of sound and unfeigned 
religion, will soon be attended with 
crosses and tribulations, there follow fif- 
teen Chapters (XLIY-LYIII), where- 
in are considered the cross of Chris- 
tians, and the virtue of patience, the 
practice of which is thereby exceed- 
ingly promoted. To all this, some- 
thing is added of the nature and con- 
quest of those deep spiritual tempta- 
tions, with which Satan harasses those 
that adhere to the Lord, and who en- 
deavor to be faithful to the end. 

God grant that we may all be true 
followers of Christ, not ashamed of 
his holy life; but follow the Lamb 
whithersoever he goeth, and be led at 
last to the living fountains of waters, 
where the Lord will wipe away all 
tears from our eyes ! Amen. 

John Arndt, 
General Superintendent in the Principality 
of Lüneburg. 



BOOK IL 
CHAPTER I. 



JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, IS GIVEN TO US BY OUR HEAVENLY FATHER 
AS OUR HELP AGAINST THE DAMNABLE AND DEADLY POISON OF ORIGINAL 
SIN, AND THE PERNICIOUS FRUITS THEREOF, AS WELL AS A PROTECTOR 
AGAINST ALL THE CALAMITIES AND EVILS BOTH OF THE BODY AND THE 
SOUL. 

With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. — Isa. 12 : 3. 



AS our distemper is exceedingly 
great, mortal, damnable, and out 
of the power of any creature to re- 
move ; therefore it is needful that we 
should have a remedy proportioned to 
the disease; a high, a divine, an ever- 
lasting, remedy and help, entirely de- 
rived from the pure mercy of God. As 
our original disease was caused by 
the wrath, hatred, and envy of the 
devil (Gen. 3:1): so God, in tender 
compassion, was moved to heal the 
mortal wound of our sin by his infinite 
mercy. And as Satan had used his 
utmost endeavors and subtlety, in 
order to infect, slay, and condemn us, 
God was pleased, in his infinite wis- 
dom, to give us his beloved Son, in 
order to restore us to that life, happi- 
ness, and salvation which we had lost. 
Hence he has made the precious blood 
of Christ to be the grand restorative 
of our nature, and the cleanser from all 
the contagion of sin. He hath given 
us his quickening flesh, to be our 
bread of life ; his holy wounds, as a 
sovereign balsam to heal our wounded 
condition ; and his precious death, to 
be an abolition of our death, both 
temporal and eternal. 1 John 1:7; 
Acts 20 : 28 ; John 6 : 32, etc. ; Isa. 
53 : 5 ; 25 : 8. 



2. But so disabled, so weak, and un- 
done, is fallen man, that he cannot so 
much as apply this precious medicine 
even when it is freely offered : so little 
health, so much weakness is there in 
him. Nay, we even, by nature, strive 
against our cure, and reject the rem- 
edy which should help us. — Where- 
fore, O Lord, unless thou shouldst draw 
me after thee (Cant. 1 : 4), and, as a 
faithful physician, administer to me 
what thou hast ordered, the best pre- 
scriptions will avail me nothing. Take 
me, therefore, entirely into thine own 
hands, and trust me not to myself. 
If I be left to myself, the eternal ruin 
of my soul will be my lot. Therefore 
"turn thou me, and I shall be turned 
heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed 
for thou art my praise." Jer. 31 : 18 
17 : 14. As long as thou keepest back 
thy mercy, and hidest thy face from my 
sorrow, I shall remain in a diseased con- 
dition. Ps. 30 : 3. Whilst thou forbear- 
est to quicken me, I am tied down by 
the chains of death. Therefore I cry 
with David, "I am poor and needy; 
make haste unto me, O God. Thou 
art my help, and my deliverer; O Lord, 
make no tarrying." Ps. 70 : 5. 

3. O blessed Lord! shall not thy 
mercy be strong enough to raise a 

( 159 ) 



160 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book IL 



sick soul from her languishing ill- 
ness ? a soul that is not able to raise 
herself? Wilt thou not condescend to 
come to me, since it is not possible 
that I should come to thee ? Didst 
thou not love me, even before I had 
so much as a thought of loving thee 
again ? Thy mercy is so prevailing 
and so strong, that it has even over- 
come thyself. Was it not mercy that 
nailed thee to the cross, and gave thee 
up to death ? What is so strong as to 
encounter and conquer thee, if it be 
not the strength of thy own mercy? 
What has might sufficient to appre- 
hend thee, and to bind and conduct 
thee to death, but thy love only, 
wherewith thou hast loved and quick- 
ened us, when we were dead in tres- 
passes and sins ? Eph. 2 : 1. For thou 
wouldst thyself undergo the pangs of 
death, rather than suffer us to be for- 
ever bound over to death and eternal 
damnation ! 

4. Thy mercy, O Lord, has made 
thee all our own, and put a title to all 
thy merits into our hands. When 
thou becamest a tender infant, it was 
wholly for our sakes, unto whom thou 
art " born a child." Isa. 9 : 6. When 
thou wast made an offering for our 
sins, and when thou wast slain as an 
innocent lamb on the cross, it was to 
give up thyself unto us, and freely to 
impart unto us all things beside. O 
excellent gift of God ! a good wholly 
appropriated to us, even our own pe- 
culiar good and treasure ! 

(«) Behold ! beloved Christian, the 
wisdom of God ! God has by means 
of this everlasting good made himself 
our own property, that he might 
thereby in return make us his own. 
For having purchased us " with a 
price," we are no longer our own, but 
his who hath bought us. 1 Cor. 6 : 19, 
20. For whosoever receives so excel- 



lent a gift, receives also the Giver 
himself, from whom it proceeds. And 
again, whosoever possesses any good 
as his own, he makes it his own to all 
intents and purposes, and to the best 
advantage he can. Thus, likewise, is 
Christ become thy own and proper 
good. Thou canst apply him in such 
a manner, as to obtain by him ever- 
lasting life and salvation. 

(6) Christ is become the true medi- 
cine of thy soul, to restore thee — thy 
meat and thy drink, to refresh thee — 
thy fountain of life, to quench thy thirst 
— thy light, in darkness — thy joy, in 
sadness — thine advocate, against thy 
accusers — wisdom, against thy folly — 
righteousness, against thy sin — sancti- 
fication, against thy unworthiness — 
redemption, against thy bondage — the 
mercy-seat, against the judgment-seat 
— the throne of grace, against thy con- 
demnation — thy absolution, against 
thy fearful sentence — thy peace and 
rest, against an evil conscience — thy 
victory, against all thine enemies — 
thy champion, against all thy perse- 
cutors — the bridegroom of thy soul, 
against all rivals — thy mediator, 
against the wrath of God — thy pro- 
pitiation, against all thy trespasses — 
thy strength, against thy weakness — 
thy way, against thy wandering — thy 
truth, against lying and vanity — thy 
life, against death. He is thy counsel, 
when thou hast none to advise thee — 
thy power, in the midst of thine in- 
firmities — thy Everlasting Father, 
when thou art forsaken and father- 
less — thy Prince of Peace, against the 
adversary — thy ransom, against thy 
debt — thy crown of glory, against thy 
reproach — thy teacher, against thy ig- 
norance — thy Judge, against thy op- 
pressor — thy King, to destroy the 
kingdom of Satan — thine everlasting 
High Priest, to intercede for thee. 



Chap. I.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



161 



5. (a) Consider now, O Christian, 
what an excellent gift the Lord Jesus 
Christ is. Let it be thy daily prayer 
and supplication to make a true sav- 
ing use of all those heavenly benefits, 
and to improve all the offices of Christ 
to the end for which they are de- 
signed. If he be thy Medicine (Matt. 
9 : 12), fear not but thou shalt be 
healed : since he is thy Bread (John 
6 : 51), thy soul shall be filled. Is he 
to thee a Fountain of Life (Isai. 12 : 
3), then truly thou shalt thirst no 
more. Is he to thee a Light (John 8 : 
12), then thou shalt remain no longer 
in darkness. Is he thy Joy (Luke 2 : 
10), what then shall afflict thee ? Is he 
the Advocate (1 John 2 : 1) that pleads 
thy cause, what adversary shall cast 
thee ? Is he thy Truth, who shall de- 
ceive thee ? Is he thy Way, who shall 
make thee to err? Is he thy Life 
(John 14 : 6), who shall slay thee ? Is 
he thy Wisdom, who shall seduce thee? 
Is he thy Righteousness, who shall 
condemn thee ? Is he thy Sanctifica- 
tion, who shall reject thee ? Is he thy 
Redemption, who shall imprison thee? 

1 Cor. 1 : 30. Is he thy Peace (Eph. 

2 : 14), who can disturb thee ? Is he 
thy Mercy-Seat (Rom. 3 : 25), who can 
arraign thee ? Is he thy Throne of 
Grace (Heb. 4 : 16), who can give 
sentence against thee ? Is he thy Dis- 
charge and Absolution (Colos. 2 : 14), 
who then dares impeach thee ? Is he 
the Champion and the Captain of thy 
Salvation (Heb. 2 : 10), who shall be 
able to stand against thee ? Is he thy 
Bridegroom (John 3 : 29), who then 
shall snatch thee from him? Is he thy 
Ransom (1 Tim. 2 : 6), who will arrest 
thee ? Is he thy Crown of Glory (Heb. 
2: 7), who then shall reproach thee? 
Is he thy Master (John 13 : 13), and 
Teacher, who then shall correct thee ? 
If he be thy Judge (2 Thess. 1 : 9), 



who shall oppress thee ? If he be thy 
Propitiation (1 John 2 : 2), who shall 
accuse thee ? If he be thy Mediator 
(1 Tim. 2 : 5), who shall set God against 
thee? If he be thy Advocate (1 John 
2 : 1), who shall prosecute thee ? Is he 
thy Immanuel (Isai. 7 : 14), who shall 
be against thee? Is he thy King (John 
12 : 15), who shall expel thee out of 
his kingdom ? Is he thy High Priest 
(Heb. 7 : 25), who can refuse his inter- 
cession and sacrifice? Is he thy Sa- 
viour (Matt. 1 : 21), who shall destroy 
thee ? 

(6) How canst thou have a more ex- 
cellent, a more valuable present ? It 
is a present of greater worth than thou 
thyself, than all mankind, and all the 
world besides. It is a present that 
infinitely surpasses all the sins, miser- 
ies, and calamities of the whole world. 
Christ hereby is all our own, both as 
to his divine and his human nature. 
It was by sin we had forfeited the 
richest of all treasures, the Sovereign 
Good, even God himself: and it is by 
Christ, that all is made up again, and 
God himself given to us as our prop- 
erty. And for this reason, Christ is 
called Immanuel (Isai. 7 : 14), (which 
being interpreted is, God with us), that 
in him we might have both a God and 
a Brother. 

6. (a) Consider now, O Christian T 
what an immense, what an infinite good 
thou hast in Christ thy Redeemer, and 
to what spiritual benefits thou art en- 
titled by him. If people were but 
better acquainted with the sources of 
this heavenly comfort, then no cross, 
no affliction, would seem any longer 
insupportable to them ; because Christ 
would be all in all, and by his pres- 
ence alleviate the miseries of this life. 
Christ himself is ours not only as a. 
crucified Christ, but also as he is glo- 
rified, together with all the majesty 



11 



162 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



that resides in him. " All things are 
yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or 
Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, 
or things present, or things to come; 
all are yours ; and ye are Christ's ; 
and Christ is God's." 1 Cor. 3 : 21-23. 
(b) Alas ! poor, miserable, accursed, 
and condemned sinners, that we by 
nature all are ! How came we to be 
favored and honored with so high and 
inestimable a gift ? For thou, O Lord 
Jesus, art to us — Jehovah our Right- 
eousness — a Mediator between God 
and man — our everlasting Priest — the 
Christ of God — a Lamb without spot 
— our propitiatory oblation — the ful- 
filment of the law — the Desire of the 
patriarchs — the Inspirer of the proph- 
ets — the Master of the apostles — the 
teacher of the evangelists — the light 
of the confessors — the crown of the 
martyrs — the Praise of all the saints — 
the resurrection of the dead — the first- 
born from the dead — the glory of the 
blessed — the consolation of the mourn- 
ers — the righteousness of sinners — 
the hope of the afflicted — the refuge 
of the miserable — the entertainer of 
strangers — the fellow-traveller of pil- 
grims — the way of them that were 
mistaken — the help to them who were 
forsaken — the strength of the weak 
— the health of the sick — the protector 
of the simple — the reward of the just 
— the flaming fire of charity — the Au- 



thor of faith — the anchor of hope — the 
flower of humility — the rose of meek- 
ness — the root of all the virtues — the 
exemplar of patience — the enkindler of 
devotion — the incense of prayer — the 
tree of health — the fountain of bless- 
edness — the bread of life— the Head 
of the church — the bridegroom of the 
soul — the precious pearl — the rock of 
salvation — the living stone — the heir 
of all things — the redemption of the 
world — the triumphant Conqueror of 
Hell — the Prince of Peace — the mighty 
lion of Judah — the father of the world 
to come — the guide to our heavenly 
country — the sun of righteousness — 
the morning star — the inextinguish- 
able light of the celestial Jerusalem — 
the brightness of the everlasting glory 
— the unspotted mirror — the splendor 
of the divine majesty — the image of 
the paternal goodness — the treasure 
of wisdom — the abyss of eternity — the 
beginning without beginning — the 
word upholding all things — the life 
quickening all things — the light en- 
lightening all things — the truth judg- 
ing all things — the counsel moder- 
ating all things — the rule directing all 
things — the love sustaining all things 
— the whole comprehension of all that 
is good. 

(c) This is the great and infinite gift, 
which God has so freely bestowed upon 
mortal men. 



Chap. II.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



163 



CHAPTER II. 

THE MANNER IN WHICH THE CHRISTIAN SHOULD APPLY AND APPROPRIATE TO 
HIMSELF THE CONSOLATION NOTICED IN CHAPTER I. 



The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. — Luke 19 : 10. 



THE first or chief foundation on 
which the Christian depends, 
when he derives consolation from the 
doctrines of the remission of sin, and 
of the merit of Christ, consists in the 
universal extent of the divine promises; 
of which that mentioned above is not 
the least considerable. For if Christ 
came to save those that are lost, who 
can possibly doubt, that he will also 
seek and save thee, since thou art of 
the number of the lost. It is also 
said, that God, "commandeth all men 
everywhere to repent ; because he hath 
appointed a day, in the which he will 
judge the world in righteousness." 
Acts 17 : 30, 31. This argument is 
full of consolation. As if the apostle 
had said, Christ will judge the world; 
and therefore God commandeth all to 
repent, that all may escape the dread- 
ful sentence of eternal damnation. 
This is confirmed by St. Peter, who 
tells us, that God "is not willing that 
any should perish, but that all should 
come to repentance. " 2 Peter 3 : 9. 
All which passages plainly assert the 
universal grace of God, extending it- 
self to all men. 

2. The second foundation is the di- 
vine oath. In order that no room 
might be left to doubts and scruples in 
this grand article, God has confirmed 
the universal promise of grace with 
an oath. " As I live, saith the Lord 
God, I have no pleasure in the death 
of the wicked, but that he turn from 
his way and live: none of the sins 



that he hath committed, shall be men- 
tioned unto him." Ezek.33:ll, 16. As 
if he had said, How can I delight in 
the death of a sinner, who am Life it- 
self? Let but the wicked be converted, 
and he shall certainly live. — Behold ! 
God desires sinners to be converted ! 
And dost thou doubt, that thou, who 
art a sinner, art by God solicited to 
conversion ? When the apostle ex- 
plains this oath, he says, "This is a 
faithful saying, and worthy of all ac- 
ceptation, that Christ Jesus came into 
the world to save sinners." 1 Tim. 1 : 
15. But if Christ came into the 
world with an intent to save sinners, 
thou art undoubtedly one of the num- 
ber of those whom he came to save. 

3. In order to show that the Lord 
will not retain the remembrance of 
sin, he hath no less than three times 
engaged his word. First, by the 
prophet Isaiah, "I, even I," says he, 
"am he that blotteth out thy trans- 
gressions for my own sake, and will 
not remember thy sins." Isa. 43 : 25. 
Secondly, by Jeremiah he hath thus 
expressed his mind: "This shall be 
the covenant: I will forgive their in- 
iquity, and I will remember their sin 
no more." Jer. 31:33, 34. And, thirdly, 
by the prophet Ezekiel, "If the wick- 
ed," says he, "will turn from all his 
sins that he hath committed, he shall 
surely live, he shall not die. All his 
transgressions that he hath commit- 
ted, they shall not be mentioned unto 
him." Ezek. 18 : 21, 22. This is the 



164 



TEUB CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book II 



divine act of oblivion, solemnly de- 
clared in favor of all returning sin- 
ners, without exception. 

4. Now the cause or reason why 
God promises that he will not re- 
member sin any more, is no other 
than the all-sufficient satisfaction and 
reconciliation wrought by Christ. For 
whatever is entirely paid, yea, over 
and above paid, should be altogether 
buried in an everlasting oblivion. 
Now, God being once perfectly recon- 
ciled and satisfied by the most holy 
and most complete sacrifice of Jesus 
Christ, he can no longer be angry, 
nor perpetuate the remembrance of 
our transgressions. 

5. The same oath is repeated in the 
prophet Isaiah, "Look unto me," says 
the Lord, "and be ye saved, all the 
ends of the earth : I have sworn by 
myself; the word is gone out of my 
mouth in righteousness, and shall not 
return." Isa. 45 : 22, 23. Which oath, 
the Epistle to the Hebrews explains 
in this manner: "Wherein God, wil- 
ling more abundantly to shew unto 
the heirs of promise the immutability 
of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath : 
that by two immutable things, in 
which it was impossible for God to lie, 
we might have a strong consolation, 
who have fled for refuge to lay hold 
upon the hope set before us: which 
hope we have as an anchor of the 
soul, both sure and steadfast." Heb. 
6 : 17-19. That is, God, by his coun- 
sel and promise, having confirmed 
them with an oath, hath more than 
sufficiently sealed and established his 
gracious will ; that so none might be 
discouraged. 

6. The third foundation is the eter- 
nal covenant of grace, which consists 
in the pardon of sin: "This shall be 
the covenant : I will forgive their in- 
iquity, and I will remember their sin 



no more." Jer. 31 : 33, 34. And this 
covenant or testament, because con- 
firmed by the death of Christ, is 
therefore everlasting. To the same 
purpose the Lord says by the proph- 
et : " 1ST either shall the covenant of 
my peace be removed, saith the Lord, 
that hath mercy on thee." Isa. 54:10. 
And again, " I will make an everlast- 
ing covenant with you, even the sure 
mercies of David " (i. e., Christ). Isa. 
55 : 3. And Moses declares the same: 
" The Lord thy God is a merciful God: 
he will not forsake thee, neither de- 
stroy thee, nor forget the covenant 
of thy fathers which he sware unto 
them." Deut. 4 : 31. And again we 
read : " He will ever be mindful of his 
covenant." Ps. 111:5. On which eter- 
nal covenant, that we might the more 
firmly rely, he hath renewed and es- 
tablished it with every one by Holy 
Baptism, which therefore is called 
" The answer (or covenant) of a good 
conscience towards God." 1 Peter 3 : 
21. For this end, Christ himself was 
baptized in Jordan, and thereby 
entered with us into this covenant. 
Matt. 3 : 13. 

7. The fourth foundation is the death 
of Christ, by which the covenant or 
testament of God was ratified. But 
if any ask, For whom did he die? St. 
Paul answers, that " he died for all." 
2 Cor. 5 : 14, 15. And St. John says, 
" He is the propitiation for the sins of 
the whole world." 1 John 2:2. So 
John the Baptist said: "Behold the 
Lamb of God, which taketh away the 
sin of the world." John 1 : 29. This, 
the apostle explains in the following 
comforting manner: "As by the of- 
fence of one, judgment came upon all 
men to condemnation ; even so by the 
righteousness of one, the free gift 
came upon all men unto justification 
of life" (Eom. 5 : 18) : where a compari- 



Chap. II.] 



TKUE CHEISTIANITY. 



165 



son is made betwixt Christ and Adam. 
As if he had said, 'Since the offence 
of Adam hath been so strong, as to 
make all men sinners; shall not the 
righteousness of Christ be far more 
powerful to make them righteous? If 
sin hath abounded, shall not grace 
much more abound ? ' The same apos- 
tle, having occasion to show that the 
merit of Christ is universal, and ex- 
tends itself to all, thus reasons : " For 
there is one God, and one mediator 
between God and men, the man Christ 
Jesus ; who gave himself a ransom for 
all." But if this be true, it also fol- 
lows, "that God will have all men to 
be saved, and to come unto the knowl- 
edge of the truth." 1 Tim. 2 : 4-6. On 
all this Paul remarks, that God, by 
" Christ hath reconciled all things to 
himself, whether they be things in 
earth, or things in heaven." Col. 1 : 20. 
And again : " God spared not his own 
Son, but delivered him up for us all." 
Eom. 8 : 32. In this number, reckon 
also thyself, because " God is no re- 
specter of persons." Acts 10 :34. Since, 
therefore, Christ died for sinners, thou, 
who acknowledgest thyself to be one, 
must necessarily have an interest in 
his death, and in all the benefits pur- 
chased by it. 

8. The fifth foundation is the uni- 
versal call, grounded upon the univer- 
sal merit of Christ. The latter was 
exhibited for the sins of the whole 
world, and it was proper that it should 
be preached to all creatures. Matt. 
9 : 13. Now since Christ declares : " I 
came not to call the righteous, but 
sinners to repentance" (Mark 16 : 15), 
it follows, that thou also, because thou 
art a sinner, art called. But called to 
what? To repentance. And why? 
That thou mayest obtain remission 
of sin, through faith. " It behooved," 
says the Lord, " that repentance and 



remission of sins should be preached 
in the name of Christ among all na- 
tions." Luke 24 : 46, 47. And the 
apostle affirms, that " the gospel was 
preached to every creature which is 
under heaven." Col. 1 : 23. But to 
what end did God cause it to be 
preached ? Surely for no other end 
than that thereby faith might be 
kindled and established among men, 
according to that saying of the same 
apostle : " How shall they call on him, 
in whom they have not believed ? and 
how shall they believe in him, of whom 
they have not heard ?" Eom. 10 : 14. 
Whenever, therefore, God calls us to 
repentance, far be it from us to think 
that God calls us in vain, or without 
a real design to save us. Surely God 
does not deceive us : but in this serious 
affair he seriously calls upon us, that 
we may embrace his mercy, and ac- 
cept the offer of grace. Hence he is 
also angry with those who make light 
of his supper, and disdain to come to 
his feast. Matt. 22 : 7. Whereas, to 
those who obey his call, through faith, 
he hath given his promise, full of hea- 
venly comfort that " whosoever believ- 
eth in him, shall not perish, but have 
everlasting life." John 3 : 16. Nay, he 
hath graciously promised to preserve 
the same faith unto the end, even till 
the salvation of the soul, which is the 
end of faith, be secured. Phil. 1:6; 
1 Pet. 1 : 9. 

9. The sixth foundation is the in- 
ward testimony of the divine Spirit in 
us, who seeks after righteousness, and 
seals us unto the day of redemption. 
Eom. 8 : 16 ; Eph. 4 : 30. This Spirit 
incessantly rouses and awakens the 
conscience. He reproves without in- 
termission, convinces of sins, and sets 
them before thine eyes. He summons 
thee to repentance, calls thee inwardly 
in thy heart, strives with thee, and 



166 



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[Book II. 



leaves nothing untried, in order to 
keep thee from every sin, and lead 
to thy conversion. John 16 : 8. These 
things thou canst not conceal, though 
ever so desirous to do it. This wit- 
ness of Christ in thee, is never silent : 
and though thou shouldst stop thine 
ears against him, yet shalt thou be 
compelled to hear him inwardly. And 
if thou shouldst desire to reject his 
summons, yet must thou feel the in- 
ternal energy of his correction. All 
this is a convincing, strong, and un- 
questionable proof, that " God would 
have thee to be saved." 

10. The seventh foundation consists 
of the examples of sinners, whom 
God, upon their conversion, hath re- 
ceived into favor. Surely " there is 
none righteous," of himself, " no, not 
one." Eom. 3 : 10, 23. Not only Da- 
vid, Manasseh (2 Chron. 33 : 11-13), 
Peter, Paul, Mary Magdalene, and 
Zaccheus; but "all of us are sinners, 
and come short of the glory of God." 
There is none innocent in his sight. 
Whatever favor God shows to one, the 
same he offers to all the rest ; since he 
"is no respecter of persons/' Acts 10: 
34. We all are saved by grace, with- 
out any merit of our own, and all 
stand in need of a gracious pardon of 
sin : for, " if thou, Lord, shouldest 
mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall 
stand?" (Ps. 130:3), and if thou en- 
terest into judgment, "in thy sight 
shall no man living be justified." Ps. 
143 : 2. 

11. The eighth foundation is, that 
the merit of Christ is not only suf- 
ficient, but even more than sufficient 
for the sins of all men, how numerous, 
great and heinous soever they may be. 
Why then shouldst thou exclude thy- 
self, and refuse to share in the benefits 
of the ransom which Christ paid ? Is 
it not infinitely greater than the sins 



of the whole world ? For as thou art 
of the race of men, so thou canst ap- 
ply to thyself that word of the Lord, 
" The Son of man is not come to de- 
stroy men's lives, but to save them " 
(Luke 9 : 56) : and that of St. Paul, 
" God was in Christ, reconciling the 
world unto himself" (2 Cor. 5 : 19) : 
and again, that of St. John, " He is 
the propitiation for the sins of the 
whole world " (1 John 2:2); that is, 
for all the sins of every man in par- 
ticular. 

12. A ninth foundation is this, that 
the merit of Christ is an infinite satis- 
faction, beyond all number, measure, 
and end; and it is so on account of 
the exalted Person that suffered, who 
is both God and man. Why shouldst 
thou then limit the extent, number, 
measure, and bounds of merit so 
ample, and exclude thyself from it? 
So great, so high, and so extensive 
are the power and efficacy of that 
merit, that it would still prove a suffi- 
cient ransom if every man were guilty 
of the sins of the whole world. Nay, 
if there were as many worlds drowned 
in sin, as there are men that live 
on this earth, yet would the merit of 
Christ and his righteousness be large 
enough to cover all their sins. Cast 
not therefore away a mercy so uni- 
versal, so full and every way abound- 
ing. This surely is that " depth of the 
sea, into which God hath cast all our 
sins." Mic. 7 : 19. Hence the Psalmist 
says: "As the heaven is high above 
the earth, so great is his mercy to- 
wards them that fear him. As far as 
the east is from the west, so far hath 
he removed our transgressions from 
us." Ps. 103 : 11, 12. This is that 
" eternal redemption which is obtain- 
ed for us." Heb. 9 : 12. The benefit of 
this complete redemption, is summed 
up by St. Paul: "It is God that justi- 



Chap. II.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



167 



fieth. Who is he that condenmeth ? 
It is Christ that died," etc. Bom. 8 : 
33, 34. 

13. The tenth foundation is this, that 
the obedience of Christ is perfect: be- 
cause he fulfilled the will and law of 
his Father in all things, thereby to 
give satisfaction for all the disobedi- 
ence which all the men in the world 
had committed against God's law. 
For if the sin and transgression of 
any one man were not expiated by 
him, then surely, his obedience would 
not prove perfect, and the disobedi- 
ence of Adam would be more effectual 
to condemnation, than the obedience 
of Christ to justification. This can- 
not be, since the apostle in plain 
terms affirms the contrary, in Eom. 
5 : 18. What reason is there then, 
that any one should exclude himself 
from this perfect obedience, or be 
backward to assert his own interest 
in it? Let us rather consider, that 
Christ for this very end humbled him- 
self, "and became obedient unto death, 
even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2: 
8), "that he might redeem them that 
were under the law." Gal. 4:5. In 
the number of these, we all surely are 
comprised. For, as our first parents 
aspired after and affected the majesty 
of God, so it behooved Christ, the re- 
pairer of our breaches, by a most pro- 
found humility, to atone for this hei- 
nous offence, and to be -' : made a curse 
for us" (Gal. 3:13), in order that the 
blessing might come upon all, who 
were cursed in Adam. 

14. The eleventh foundation is, that 
since the royal victory and triumph 
of Christ surpass all the multitude, 
weight, and heinousness of sin, to- 
gether with all the power of death, 
hell, and Satan, what cause canst thou 
assign, O sinner, why the same victo- 
rious Christ should not triumph over 



thy sin as well as over all the rest? 
What ! canst thou believe that thy 
transgressions alone are more power- 
ful than Christ, the omnipotent king? 
When he shalh make all his enemies 
his footstool (Ps. 110 : 1), cannot he 
subdue under him also thy sins ? Dost 
thou think that thy crimes only shall 
prove too hard for him ? God forbid, 
therefore, that thou shouldest call in 
question thy interest in so universal a 
conquest, in so glorious a triumph. 

15. The twelfth foundation is the 
everlasting priesthood of Christ. Ps. 
110 : 4 ; Heb. 4 : 14. He freely grants 
pardon to all them that ask it ; and 
gives the Holy Spirit to those that 
earnestly pray for that gift. ^Nor will 
he, or can he refuse to any what be- 
longs to his ofiice (Heb. 5:6; 7 : 17) ; 
for he is the Saviour of the world, and 
the High Priest and Mediator between 
God and man. 1 Tim. 2:5. If he re- 
fuse his ofiice to any one that implores 
it, he would verily cease to be a Me- 
diator. But so far is he from this, that 
he freely offers to sinners the benefit 
of his mediatorial ofiice. " Come unto 
me," saith he, "all ye that labor and 
are heavy laden." Matt. 11 : 28. And 
again : " Ho, every one that thirsteth, 
come ye to the waters" (Isa. 55:1) 
of life. And does he not by his 
apostles and messengers, seriously in- 
vite us to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 
5 : 20), and at the same time offer us 
his help and assistance for that end? 
He seeks the lost sheep (Ezek. 34: 16), 
and receives into favor the Prodigal 
son as soon as he returns. Luke 15 : ; 
20. Take heed, therefore, O man,, 
that thou reject not the ofiice of Christ, 
the Mediator, and that thou deprive: 
not thyself of the benefit of a sacer- 
dotal intercessor, every way full of 
divine consolation and comfort. 



168 



TEÜE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



CHAPTER III. 

OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS BEFORE GOD, CONSISTS SOLELY IN THE PERFECT OBEDIENCE 
AND MERIT OF CHRIST JESUS, AND IN THE REMISSION OF SIN APPREHENDED 
BY FAITH. 

As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be 

made righteous. — Rom. 5 : 19. 



AS a skilful builder, when he is 
about to raise a lofty structure, 
takes care to lay first a deep and solid 
foundation, so the merciful and com- 
passionate God, when he was to erect 
the high and everlasting palace of our 
salvation and righteousness, thought 
fit to lay the foundation thereof, in the 
depth of his mercy, upon the Person 
and office of his dear Son Christ Jesus, 
as on the true rock of salvation. This 
is the promise recorded by the prophet : 
" Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, 
a stone, a tried stone, a precious cor- 
ner-stone, a sure foundation : he that 
believeth shall not make haste." Isa. 
28 : 16. This stone was indicated by 
Christ, when he declared to Peter, 
that " thereon he would build his 
church ;" a church so firmly and 
surely sustained, that " the very gates 
of hell should not prevail against it." 
Matt. 16 : 18. 

2. This was the rock and corner- 
stone, which was preached by the apos- 
tles Peter and Paul. 1 Pet. 2 : 4 ; 2 Tim. 
2 : 19. This is that marvellous corner- 
stone celebrated by the Psalmist, and 
upon which the 118th Psalm is ground- 
ed. Upon this foundation, God has been 
pleased to raise the whole structure 
of our righteousness, faith, and eternal 
salvation. But as God, our merciful 
Heavenly Father, has, on his side, 
placed the groundwork of our sal- 
ivation and righteousness in the un- 



searchable depth of his mercy and 
everlasting love ; nay, even in his be- 
loved Son, and the paternal affection 
of his own heart; so he wills that on 
our side also the same be laid in the 
depth of our heart, and in the centre 
of our soul; in order that, through 
the divine light and power of faith 
alone (and even faith is solely the 
work of the Divine Spirit), the right- 
eousness of Christ may be appre- 
hended, and without any respect of 
our own works, whether antecedent 
or consequent, be freely imputed and 
appropriated to us. The reasons of 
this way of proceeding are as follows. 

3. In the first place, that God by this 
means might cleanse and justify a 
man from within, and in the inmost 
centre of his soul : for as man is in- 
wardly corrupted by Satan, and in- 
fected in all the interior powers of his 
soul, so it is but fit that his cure should 
be wrought from within, and that all 
the faculties of his soul should be re- 
stored to their former integrity and 
soundness. 

4. Secondly, that our righteousness 
proceeds from faith only. This faith 
is wrought by God himself, and it 
stands entirely in his iiower (1 Cor. 
2 : 5), being supported by it, and not 
by any human performance, or hypo- 
critical action of men. Of this latter 
sort was the righteousness of the 
Pharisees (Matt. 5 : 20), who made in- 



Chap. III.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



169 



deed a show of outward performances, 
but were little concerned about the 
reformation of the heart, and the in- 
ward recesses of the mind. 

5. Thirdly, that our heart, soul, and 
spirit, renouncing human power and 
strength (upon which, through the 
temptation of the Devil, and the snares 
of self-love, ambition, and pride, they 
too much rely), might wholly depend 
upon Christ alone, and upon his pre- 
cious merit and satisfaction. For from 
him alone flow the gracious remission 
of all our sins, and the whole train of 
graces consequent on it; Jesus Christ 
having abundantly satisfied for the 
sins of the whole world, and reconciled 
the Father to mankind. 

6. Fourthly, that the righteousness 
of Christ, by faith, might be made our 
own. In order to the same end he 
also by his Word and Spirit begets 
this faith in our hearts, that thereby 
we may become actually possessed of 
this inestimable treasure. For this is 
the highest, the unspeakable, and in- 
conceivably great consolation, that 
our righteousness is not the righteous- 
ness of a man, nor even of a saint or 
angel, but of Christ, and of God him- 
self; " It is God that justifieth." Rom. 
8 : 33. Therefore if the whole world 
were overflowed with the sins of one 
man, yet would the righteousness of 
Christ be still more extensive and 
overflowing. For verily, he is " the 
Lord our Righteousness" (Jer. 33 : 16), 
and how can sin be more powerful 
than the Lord Jehovah? Would it be 
an insufficient satisfaction, thinkest 
thou, if instead of a penny which thou 
owest thy creditor, thou shouldest re- 
turn ten thousand pounds ? But such 
a price, nay, one infinitely greater, is 
paid with the blood of Christ, which 
therefore is called by St. Paul, " God's 
own blood." Acts 20 : 28. So great 



and immense is the righteousness of 
Christ, conferred on us by faith, that 
thereby we are not only made right- 
eous, but also righteousness itself. 2 Cor. 
5 : 21. For, as it is not enough that 
a defiled infant be washed from its 
uncleanness, but it must also be wrap- 
ped up in clean apparel (Ezek. 6 : 10), 
so Christ not only cleanses us with his 
blood, but clothes us also with the 
garment of salvation, and covers us 
with the robe of righteousness (Isa. 
61 : 10) : which we have received from 
the hand of the Lord. This garment is 
called by the prophet, priestly or holy 
apparel; by David, "the beauty of 
holiness" . (Ps. 29: 2); by St. John, 
"fine linen clean and white, which is 
the righteousness of saints" (Rev. 19 : 
8) ; by the prophet Amos, " rivers of 
righteousness" (Amos 5:24); by St. 
Paul, " superabounding grace" (Rom. 
5 : 20) ; and " exceeding riches of 
grace." Eph. 2 : 7. All these expres- 
sions set forth that the righteousness 
bestowed on a penitent soul, is as great 
as God himself, and therefore beyond 
all human comprehension. Though 
in the state of innocency, our first 
parents had a complete righteousness 
in its kind, yet was it not so full and 
exuberant as that which we have ob- 
tained in Christ : for this righteous- 
ness and holiness, which we apply to 
ourselves by faith, is far more excel- 
lent than that which Adam would 
have left us, had he continued in his 
original innocency. So, too, the hu- 
mility and obedience of Christ, as it 
was more perfect, so it was more ac- 
ceptable to God, than the obedience 
and innocency of Adam ; nay, a thou- 
sand such persons as Adam, could not 
have come up to the perfection of 
Christ alone. Adam would have 
transmitted to us indeed an hereditary 
righteousness, and thereby united us 



170 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



with God ; yet it cannot be denied, 
that our union, established with G-od 
in Christ, is much more noble and ex- 
cellent than that which we should 
have derived from Adam : for Christ 
being made man, has in himself so 
cleansed and exalted human nature, 
that the primitive state of Adam is 
not at all to be compared with it. 
And as Christ retains his human 
nature to all eternity ; so all believers 
continue in the same united to God; 
because Christ is wholly ours, and we 
are wholly his. Whatever purity the 
human nature hath obtained in gen- 
eral in His Person, is also transferred 
to the nature of each believer in par- 
ticular. This will appear in the glori- 
fication of our bodies at the last day, 
when " they shall be fashioned like 
unto the glorious body of Christ." 
Phil. 3 : 21. Nay, even in this life, it 
is said in faith : " Behold, thou art fair, 
my love" (Cant. 1:15); " glorious, 
not having spot or wrinkle" (Eph. 
5:27): "the king's daughter is all 
glorious within, her clothing is of 
wrought gold." Ps. 45 : 13. In a 
word, our righteousness in Christ is 
no less immense than God himself; 
and if his depth may be found out, so 
will our righteousness. Whence all 
creatures, finding nothing that can be 
reproved in man,- must stand as it 
were astonished, and cry out with ad- 
miration : " Who is he that shall ac- 
cuse or condemn man, whose right- 
eousness is the Son of God himself?" 
And this is that righteousness of faith 
on which we rest, as on an eternal 
rock, and which is a foundation that 
cannot be shaken. Of this we glory, 
in this we rejoice in time and in 
eternity. By this we are conquerors, 
and triumph over sin, death, the devil, 
and hell. By this we tread upon the 
lion and adder ; and trample under 



foot the young lion and the dragon. 
Ps. 91 : 13. 

7. Fifthly, an angel (who never died 
for us) cannot be the foundation of 
our righteousness, much less any man. 
The righteousness of man is but weak 
and inconstant; and if he should fall, 
" all his righteousness that he hath 
done shall not be mentioned" (Ezek. 
18 :24; 33 : 13), and therefore what- 
ever is built thereon falls soon to the 
ground and comes to nothing. For 
this reason, our righteousness must 
have another foundation; a founda- 
tion, namely, which is firm and con- 
stant, and not liable to be shattered 
to pieces, though the " mountains 
should depart, and the hills be re- 
moved." Isa. 54:10. "An everlast- 
ing righteousness must be brought 
in " (Dan. 9 : 24), so that "the salva- 
tion of the Lord may be forever, and 
his righteousness be not abolished." 
Isa. 51:6. A most excellent, eternal, 
and sovereign Person, must procure an 
eternal and infinite good, by an im- 
mense and infinite satisfaction offered 
for us. 

8. The sixth cause why God will 
have our righteousness to be appre- 
hended by faith, is found in his truth 
and promise, on which our faith en- 
tirely rests, and by which God de- 
clared and promised righteousness to 
Abraham, and to all his faithful seed. 
Whence St. Paul argues, that " our 
righteousness must be of faith, that it 
might be by grace; to the end that 
the promise might be sure." Eom. 4 : 
16. Upon this promise of grace, ful- 
filled in Christ, has God established 
our righteousness and salvation, as 
the same apostle in another place 
more fully asserts : " Even as Abra- 
ham," says he, "believed God, and it 
was accounted to him for righteous- 
ness. Know ye therefore that they 



Chap. III.] 



TKUE CHKISTIAtflTY. 



171 



which are of faith, the same are the 
children of Abraham." And the Scrip- 
ture, foreseeing that God would justify 
the heathen through faith, preached 
before the gospel unto Abraham : 
saying, In thee shall all nations be 
blessed (Gen. 12:3). "So then they 
which be of faith, are blessed with 
faithful Abraham." Gal. 3 : 6-9. And 
thus " grace and truth are come by 
Jesus Christ." John 1 : 17. 

9. Seventhly, God has made his grace, 
and the merit of Christ, the founda- 
tion of our righteousness, that Christ 
alone may have the honor of it. Isa. 
45 : 22-24 ; 53 : 11. " In him alone is 
our help." Hos. 13 : 9. He is the be- 
ginning, middle, and end of our right- 
eousness and salvation, so that "every 
mouth may be stopped." Eom. 3 : 19. 
For we are " saved by grace through 
faith ; not of works, lest any man 
should boast." Eph. 2 : 8, 9. But if 
our righteousness were founded on 
our own works and merits, there 
would then be no room for grace, nor 
should we have occasion for mercy or 
pardon of sin, "for which every one 
that is godly doth pray." Ps. 32 : 6. 
Moreover, there would be no place for 
humility, nor for the fear of God; 
neither would faith and prayer turn 
to any great account; yea, we should 
have no need of a Mediator, Eedeem- 
er, and Saviour. Christ would have 
then died in vain; and we should be 
obliged, both by an external and an 



internal obedience, perfectly to fulfil 
the whole law. We should remain 
under the curse, have fallen from 
grace, and have lost Christ; as St. 
Paul expressly testifies in Gal. 5 : 3, 4. 
So that the doctrine of justification 
by works, in the sight of God, is al- 
together inconsistent with the whole 
Scripture, both of the Old Testament 
and the New, and with our holy Chris- 
tian faith. 

10. In short, our salvation and right- 
eousness are founded entirely upon the 
eternal grace of God, and the eternal 
Person and office of Christ; and in 
Christ alone we are made righteous, 
holy, alive, blessed, sons and heirs of 
God. The righteousness of Christ is 
ours, his goodness ours, his holiness 
ours ; his life ours, his happiness ours, 
and lastly, the sonship and inheritance 
of Christ are ours ; and so the whole 
Christ, both according to his divine 
and his human nature, is ours; (for 
God gives us the whole Christ for a 
Saviour, that he with his Person, of- 
fice, grace, glory, and blessedness, may 
be wholly appropriated to us). That 
all this is our own, is our highest con- 
solation, glory, praise, honor, love, 
joy, and peace before God and all the 
angels and elect; it is our sublimest 
wisdom, strength, might, victory, and 
triumph over sin and death, the devil 
and hell, the world and all our ene- 
mies. For which God be praised to 
all eternity! Amen. 



172 



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[Book II 



CHAPTER IV. 

SHOWING THAT SAVING FAITH IN THE TRUE CHRISTIAN PRODUCES MANIFOLD 

FRUITS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THAT THESE MUST PROCEED FROM THE 

DEPTH OF THE HEART; ALSO, THAT THE CHARACTER OF OUR OUTWARD 

' WORKS, DEPENDS, IN THE JUDGMENT OF GOD, UPON THE STATE OF THE 

HEART. 

And this 1 pray, that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ: being filled 
with the fruits of righteousness , which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. 
—Phil. 1 : 9-11. 



THE true Christian is not only jus- 
tified by faith in Christ, but is 
also made a temple and habitation of 
Christ and of the Holy Spirit. To 
this end the good Spirit of God puri- 
fies his heart by faith : and it is fit 
that Christ should live in his temple, 
together with his love, humility and 
meekness. 1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 3:17; 
Acts 15 : 9. To this end also thy Ee- 
deemer has bestowed upon thee his 
Holy Spirit, that he might create in 
thee a new heart, and endue thee with 
so cheerful and ready a mind, as to do 
the will of God freely, without any 
unwillingness or compulsion. Jer. 31 : 
32,33; Heb. 10:16. This new and 
holy obedience proceeds not from the 
law, or any legal commandment ; but 
from a lively faith. Hence, "the law 
is not made for a righteous man " (1 
Tim. 1 : 9), to compel him to do good; 
though it is in other respects an ex- 
cellent rule by which to regulate a 
Christian's life and manners. For a 
true and living faith does everything 
freely and of its own accord : it re- 
news the man, it purifies the heart, it 
produces fervent love to our neighbor, 
it hopes and considers such things 
as are not yet seen. Faith prays, 
praises, fears, and confesses God. It is 



also patient, humble, merciful, loving, 
meek, easy to be reconciled, compas- 
sionate, and peaceful. Faith readily 
forgives offences ; hungers and thirsts 
after righteousness; embraces God 
with all his grace, and Christ with all 
his merit; and obtains a complete re- 
mission of all sins. Now if any one 
does not perceive in his heart these 
fruits of the Spirit, and the indwell- 
ing of Christ by faith, let him humbly 
entreat the Lord, and that with tears 
and groans, that he may obtain them. 
I would not be understood, however, 
as saying that a Christian in this life 
could attain to perfect and absolute 
holiness ; for even the greatest saints 
are still sensible of their infirmities; 
of which the book of Psalms and the 
Lord's Prayer fully convince us. God 
therefore requires that our righteous- 
ness, by which we are to please him, 
should be entirely apprehended by 
faith; and lest we should act the hyp- 
ocrite he wills that his righteousness 
should be stamped on our very heart, 
and on the inmost centre of our souls; 
and likewise that all the fruits of 
faith and righteousnes should proceed 
from a living and sound principle 
seated within the mind. According 
to this inward and leading principle, 



Chap. IV.] 



TEXTE CHRISTIANITY. 



173 



God judges all our works, whether 
they be true and genuine, or false and 
hypocritical. 

2. Here again, we do not assert that 
perfection can be found in this present 
world, but only require that a Chris- 
tian should walk in newness of life, 
and approve himself by such works 
as are cleared from guile and hypoc- 
risy. For it is by no means possible 
that the fruits of the Spirit enumer- 
ated by St. Paul, in Gal. 5 : 22, 23, 
should not be found in that man in 
whom the Spirit of God himself 
dwells (Gal. 5:22); or that a good 
tree should not be known by its fruits, 
though they may not be altogether so 
perfect and angelic as could be wished, 
but be stained and often obscured by 
various frailties and imperfections. 
Nevertheless, all hypocrisy and insin- 
cerity, are utterly to be banished from 
a regenerate state ; nor are the fruits 
of a Christian to proceed from an 
empty profession, or a lifeless appear- 
ance of things, but possess truth and 
reality. I do not deny, on the one 
hand, that the Christian Church may 
be fitly compared to a hospital crowd- 
ed with all manner of sick ; or to a 
house inhabited by sinners as well as 
by saints. I believe also that many, 
like feeble children, have not yet at- 
tained to the ability of walking alone; 
but that they gradually learn to walk 
steadily. Hence it is necessary to 
"bear one another's burdens" (Gal. 
6:2), and never rashly to judge or 
condemn those who by reason of 
their weakness halt behind. Eom. 14 : 
1. We ought rather to restore in the 
spirit of meekness those that stumble, 
and with great tenderness to rectify 
what is amiss in them. Thus we learn 
to read our own imperfections in the 
infirmities of our brother. But on the 
other hand, Christians ought to labor 



to make continual advances in the 
spiritual life. They ought not to con- 
tinue always in a state of infancy and 
weakness, how difficult soever it be to 
conquer the carnal mind that ob- 
structs our growth. They ought to 
be fervent in the practice of "charity, 
out of a pure heart, and of a good 
conscience, and of faith unfeigned " (1 
Tim. 1:5); and bear this in perpetual 
remembrance, that all outward per- 
formances are valued by God accord- 
ing to the inward disposition of the 
heart. If the heart be good, thou 
mayest then be assured, that what- 
ever thou doest is also good before 
God: but if the heart be evil, corrupt, 
and envious, then all thy works are 
evil and hateful. Such as thou art in- 
wardly, and in thy heart, such art 
thou accounted to be before God; and 
such are thy prayers, thy public wor- 
ship, thy giving of alms, thy receiv- 
ing the Sacrament, and all thy other 
performances. 

3. Whosoever therefore is willing to 
try his own faith and inward condition, 
should set before his eyes the Ten Com- 
mandments (as by Christ himself inter- 
preted) (Matt. 5 and 6), and learn to 
judge of his actions by his heart. By 
such an impartial trial, he will clearly 
perceive whether what he does be ac- 
ceptable or unacceptable to God. and 
whether he bring forth the genuine 
fruits of that inward righteousness 
which is by faith. Phil. 1:11. For 
example, thou considerest that thou 
dost not defile thyself with any ex- 
ternal idolatry. Now, in keeping from 
idols thou doest surely well; but I 
would have thee farther inquire, 
whether thou also abhorrest all man- 
ner of internal idolatry ? Or whether 
thou hast set up an inward idol in 
some secret corner of the heart, to 
which thou payest thy vows? Ezek. 



174 



TEUE CHBISTIANITY. 



[Book IL 



14 : 3, 4. Examine thyself whether 
thou art within, what thou professest 
to be without f See whether thy heart 
be not set upon the world, upon ava- 
rice, and pride? If so, then thou art 
assuredly guilty of most dangerous 
idolatry; for the creature has engross- 
ed those noble affections which should 
be entirely surrendered to the Creator, 
and dedicated to him alone. Thou as- 
surest us that thou art punctual in say- 
ing thy prayers, and in praising God; 
and that thou dost not neglect to offer 
up thy thanks for benefits received at 
his hands; but didst thou ever con- 
sider, whether thou cursest in thy 
heart, whilst thou prayest with thy 
lij)s? Whether thou contradictest by 
thy actions what thou expressest in 
thy words? If so, thy prayer will 
prove but a worthless performance, 
and all thy thanks and praises will be 
trifling and vain. Thou teilest us how 
strictly thou keepest the sabbath-day. 
In this truly thou doest well; but look 
on the inward frame of thy soul. Dost 
thou celebrate the true sabbath in thy 
heart ? Dost thou rest from evil 
thoughts and wicked desires? Is thy 
heart devoted to God, and freed from 
noise and clamor, that God himself 
may work in it ? Thou attendest di- 
vine service at church; it is well done ; 
but see that thou carry not with thee 
to church the canker-worm of pride 
and vanity. This would convert thy 
service into mere formality, and ail 
thy performances into an empty show. 
Thou yieldest external obedience to 
God and to thy superiors; but does 
that which passes within thy soul 
agree with this exterior conduct ? Is 
everything done with an upright and 
willing mind? Dost thou act from a 
principle of love, or of fear only ? If 
it be fear that constrains thee to an 
external compliance, then know as- 



suredly that thy obedience is no more 
than hypocrisy. Thou defilest not thy 
hands with blood and slaughter, and 
thinkest thyself free from the crime 
of murder. But take a view of thy 
heart: for when the heart burns with 
wrath and anger, and when this, as a 
flame, flashes out upon thy face; 
when thy inward wrath breaks out 
into reproaches and curses, saying to 
thy brother, Baca, and Thou fool; 
then surely thou art become guilty of 
the judgment, of the council, and of 
everlasting fire. Matt. 5 : 22. What 
therefore will it avail thee that thy 
hand is unpolluted with blood, whilst 
thy heart accuses thee of hatred and 
murder? 1 John 3:15. For within, 
in the heart, the murderer, the adul- 
terer, the thief, and the liar, are har- 
bored. Here it is that thou must look 
for the beast, the evil lust, and the 
root of all malice and mischief: which, 
if it be not destroyed by serious re- 
pentance, by true contrition and con- 
version, by faith and the blood of 
Christ, it is impossible that thou 
shouldest do so much as one work ac- 
ceptable to God; who judges of all 
thy actions by the inward temper and 
disposition of the heart. 

4. Of this Christ himself gives us 
an example from the commandment 
"Thou shalt not kill," saying, "If 
thou bring thy gift to the altar, and 
there rememberest that thy brother 
hath aught against thee ; leave there 
thy gift before the altar, and go thy 
way; first be reconciled to thy bro- 
ther." Matt. 5 : 21-26. That is, it will 
not at all avail thee to pray, to sacrifice, 
to worship God, and to take the Sac- 
rament; yea, all thy actions will be 
converted into so many sins, because 
God regards the heart only, and not 
the outward performance. Hence St. 
Paul commands us to " lift up holy 



Chap. IV.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



175 



hands without wrath and doubting." 
1 Tim. 2 : 8. And St. Peter enjoins 
married persons to beware of anger, 
and to dwell together in love and har- 
mony, as heirs together of the grace 
of life, "that their prayers be not 
hindered." 1 Peter 3 : 7. Nay, the 
Lord Jesus himself strongly exhorts 
us to brotherly reconciliation, by the 
three following arguments. Matt. 5 : 
25, 26. 

(a) The first is, " Agree with thine 
adversary quickly, while thou art in 
the way with him ;" that is, whilst 
thou art on this side of eternity: for 
our life indeed is nothing else but a 
perpetual motion towards death and 
the grave. If in this life thou art not 
freed from the bonds of wrath, thou 
shalt remain a captive to them, yea, 
to the devil himself, throughout all 
eternity. 

(b) The second argument is, "lest 
at any time the adversary deliver thee 
to the judge." It is an awful thing to 
be summoned to the tribunal of God, 
and before so tremendous a judgment- 
seat, to plead our cause against an ac- 
cusing adversary. Whereas, whatever 
is pardoned, settled, and forgiven in 
this life, the same will also be forgiven 
and eternally pardoned in the next. 
Whence we may gather how much 
God regards the love of our neighbor, 
since he will have it by no means sep- 
arated from the love of himself ; and 
therefore refuses to admit of our love 
to him, unless it be linked to that of 
our neighbor. And why? Because 
God is Love itself, and loveth man as 
his own soul. 

(c) The third argument is, "lest thou 
be cast into prison, whence thou canst 
not come out till thou hast paid the 
uttermost farthing." It is agreeable 
to the divine justice, so to deal with us 
there, as we have dealt with our neigh- 



bor here; and "with that measure we 
have meted withal, to measure to us 
again." Luke 6: 38. Wherefore if thou 
refusest to forgive any brother his 
faults, the judgment of God is this: 
That in like manner no sin shall be re- 
mitted to thee. This will prove a 
burden heavy indeed. For the man 
that dies in this bitter, irreconcilable 
temper, must, in hell, continue a debtor 
to all eternity, and this without any 
hope or prospect of ever lessening the 
debts which he has here contracted. 

5. Thus the Son of God, has by this 
example, taught us that we must judge 
of the worth of our outward works, 
nay, of all our religion, by the inward 
disposition or principle that sways the 
heart. But perhaps thou still con- 
tinuest to flatter thyself, and to say, 
" I am baptized into Christ ; I have 
the pure word of God; I hear it; I 
receive the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper ; I also believe and confess all 
the articles of the Christian faith: 
wherefore it cannot be, but that my 
life and actions must be pleasing to 
God; I am a Christian in truth, and 
in the right way to be saved." This, 
alas ! is the general, but false reason- 
ing of many in these days, who regard 
their outward performances as consti- 
tuting true righteousness. It might 
do well enough, if the heart did but 
agree with their profession : for with- 
out this, all is mere trifling, and a dead, 
hypocritical show. Look therefore 
into this, and learn to judge of thyself 
by the inward frame of thy soul. Thou 
boastest indeed, that thou art a Chris- 
tian ; and an excellent name it is; but 
dost thou consider, whether thy heart 
and thy actions agree with a name so 
sacred? Hast thou received the unc- 
tion from above, and art thou pos- 
sessed of the fruits of the Spirit, that 
demonstrate a Christian ? 1 John 2 : 



176 



TEUE CHBISTIANITY. 



[Book IL 



27. If these be wanting, thou wilt 
prove in the end but a false and spu- 
rious Christian. Thou assertest, fur- 
ther, that thou art baptized; and so 
indeed thou art ! But search the state 
of thy heart, and inquire whether thou 
livest in the new birth, in daily re- 
pentance, and an unwearied mortifica- 
tion of the old man. See whether 
thou bringest forth fruit answerable to 
the baptismal covenant, in which thou 
art engaged ? Thou say est that thou 
hast the oracles of God committed to 
thee, and that thou hearest and read- 
est them : but inspect thy heart, and 
consider whether the Word be con- 
Verted into thy life and spirit, as bodily 
food passes into thy flesh and blood? 
Whether thou hast lived up to its di- 
rection, and expressed the effect of it 
in thy conduct ? If thou contentest 
thyself with the bare hearing thereof, 
thou must know that this will never 
yield eternal salvation, and that thou 
deceivest thyself in a matter of in- 
finite importance. For this reason has 
the Lord compared the kingdom of 
Heaven to leaven, which gradually 
spreads itself through the whole lump, 
and converts every part into its own 
nature ; thereby to set forth that pow- 
erful influence which the Word ought 
to have upon our will and affections. 
Truly, " not every one that saith, Lord, 
Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of 
Heaven ; but he that doeth the will 
of the Father which is in heaven." 
Matt. 7 : 21. Thou thinkest that thou 
dost a service when with zeal thou de- 
fendest the purity of the doctrine: 
and truly therein thou doest well. 
Nevertheless, I would have thee in- 
quire, whether by the purity of the 
doctrine, and thy defence of it, thou 
hast also attained a true purity of the 
heart. Do we not find many rigid de- 
fenders of the pure doctrine, who in 



their lives are the most unclean of 
men, full of pride, bitterness, and 
covetousness? Alas, the name of G-od * 
itself, is made a common shelter for 
all manner of vices, which screen 
themselves under the same, with im- 
punity. Thou afiQrmest that thou 
often receivest the Lord's Supper. 
This is right ; but search thine own 
heart. Thou hast often received the 
flesh and blood of Christ in this Sac- 
rament : why then do the flesh and 
blood of Adam live and reign in thee? 
Should not the life of Christ shine 
forth in thy whole conduct? Should 
not his love, his humility, and meek- 
ness, diffuse themselves through all 
thy manners? Where is the advan- 
tage, if thou receivest Christ in the 
Sacrament, and deniest him in thy life 
and actions? Thou sayest, that thou 
believest and confessest all the articles 
of the Christian faith. It is well! 
but have recourse to the touchstone 
of the heart. That is only a true faith, 
which unites man with God, and God 
with man; by which God dwells, lives, 
and operates in man. If these effects 
be wanting in thee, thy faith is false, 
and so far from uniting thee with God, 
it sets thee at a greater distance from 
him. This, however, is not to be un- 
derstood of the faith of weak and 
feeble Christians, which is often so 
clouded, as to render it hard to per- 
ceive its life and motion. For even a 
weak faith, though it be like smoking 
flax, has in it the properties of a strong 
faith, though it cannot exert itself 
with equal strength and energy. It 
heartily cleaves to God, and brings 
forth fruit amidst all those infirmities 
with which it struggles. But I would 
have it understood of faith in general, 
and of the trial and fruits of it, that, 
if thou believest in Christ, then Christ 
must certainly live in thee by faith, or 



Chap. V.] 



TBUE CHRISTIANITY. 



177 



thine will prove but an empty, naked 
profession. If thou believest that 
Christ suffered death for thy sins, thou 
must aho die with him to the same 
(Gal. 2 : 20), and renounce the world, 
with all its pride and avarice. Eom. 
6:2. If this effect do not follow, then 
truly thou believest not in Christ. If 
thou believest that Christ was cruci- 
fied for the sins of the world, thou 
must with him be crucified to the 
same. If thou refusest to comply with 
this, thou canst not be a living mem- 
ber of Christ, nor be united with him 
by faith. If thou believest that Christ 
is risen from the dead, it is thy duty 
to rise spiritually with him, and firmly 
adhere to him, thy Head and Saviour. 
In a word, the birth, cross, passion, 
death, resurrection, and ascension of 
Christ, must, after a spiritual manner, 
be transacted in thee. And this is the 
blessed effect of faith, and the influ- 
ence it has on believing souls. Wher- 
ever this effect is wanting, there is 
nothing but a lifeless image of faith, 
with which men miserably deceive 
themselves. So if thou believest in 
the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit in 
whom thou believest, must of neces- 



sity dwell and reign in thy heart, and 
enlighten and sanctify it. For, " as 
many as are led by the Spirit of God, 
they are the sons of God." Eom. 
8:14. 

6. Therefore, dear Christian ! let not 
your religion be confined to bare ex- 
ternals, but see that it proceed from 
the more inward recesses of a heart 
endued with a true, living, and active 
faith, and with an unfeigned, inward, 
and daily repentance. If you put 
away from you this inward life, this 
faith, and this repentance, you strip 
your religion of all essential goodness, 
and, instead of a living principle, 
which ought to be established in the 
mind, you carry about an empty, in- 
significant name, which will avail you 
nothing in that day, wherein God will 
judge all things according to the in- 
ward frame of the heart. But if you 
are truly affected with a sense of your 
inward wants and impurities, then 
flee without delay to the healing 
fountain of grace ! Draw and drink, 
pray and knock, seek and cry, "Lord, 
have mercy upon me!" Then your 
heart shall be cured, your sin covered, 
and your transgression cancelled. 



CHAPTER V. 



SHOWING THAT THE EVIDENCE OF TRUE CHRISTIANITY DOES NOT CONSIST TN 
THE KNOWLEDGE AND THE HEARING OF GOD'S WORD, BUT THAT HE IS A 
CHRISTIAN, IN WHOSE LIFE GOD'S WORD IS MANIFESTED, AND WHO BE- 
SEECHES GOD IN SINCERITY THAT THIS WORD, AS A DIVINE SEED, MAY BE. 
QUICKENED IN HIM, AND BEAR FRUIT. 

The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. — Eom. 1 : 16. 



THE way by which we are to ar- 
rive at true and substantial wis- 
dom, and become friends of God, is to 
submit ourselves to the discipline of 



repentance, and to lead a life con- 
formable to the Word of God. Such 
a life as this cannot fail to be attended; 
with true illumination of the mind,, 



12 



178 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



and an increase of all divine graces; 
nay, with so close an alliance with 
God himself, as to make us "partakers 
of the divine nature, having escaped 
the corruption that is in the world 
through lust." 2 Peter 1 : 4. An ex- 
ample of this we have in Enoch, who 
having " walked with God, was not, 
for God took him " to himself. Gen. 
5 : 24. To such a holy life as this 
David aspired with the utmost fervor 
of spirit, proposing two means by 
which to obtain it : the first, fervent 
prayer; and the second, & diligent prac- 
tice of the word of God. " I cried," 
says he, " with my whole heart ; hear 
me, O Lord : I will keep thy statutes. 
I cried unto thee; save me, and I 
shall keep thy testimonies." Ps. 119 : 
145, 146. 

2. These words set forth the diffi- 
culties which he encounters who seeks 
to be a true Christian, and to keep the 
word of God in holiness of life. For 
nesh and blood naturally strive against 
the word of God, and that holiness of 
life which it requires: and are, besides, 
inconstant and weak, and prone to 
yield to the enticements of the world. 
The devil on all occasions hinders our 
progress, and opposes our endeavors 
on every side. This is followed by a 
multitude of evil examples, and the 
^persecutions which wicked men raise 
in opposition to those souls that enter 
upon another course of life. Against 
obstinate evils, such as these, all the 
strength of the soul is to be opposed. 
This we learn from the example of 
David, who cried unto the Lord with 
his whole heart, in order that he might 
better digest the Word, and by lead- 
ing such a life as that Word requires, 
continue in the favor of God. This 
ought also to be our main concern; 
the favor of God being infinitely pref- 
erable to all that the world affords. 



Whoever pleases God, and is His friend, 
most effectually secures himself there- 
by from the malice of all his enemies. 
Hence serious and fervent prayer is, as I 
said before, the first step to a holy life. 
The second means to obtain a holy life, 
is expressed in the following words of 
the same Psalm : " I prevented the 
dawning of the morning, and cried: I 
hoped in thy word. Mine eyes pre- 
vent the night watches, that I might 
meditate in thy word." Ps. 119:147, 
148. Here the Psalmist declares the 
earnest study, love, and affection, 
which are due to the word of God; 
as also the time best suited for medi- 
tating in it, namely, the morning. The 
faculties of the mind are then more 
strong and vigorous than at other 
times ; and are best disposed for 
searching into divine subjects. The 
truth of this is at that season most 
feelingly perceived, when the soul, 
afflicted by sadness and deep spiritual 
temptations, " watches for the morn- 
ing " (Ps. 130 : 6), and with " waking 
eyes" (Ps. 77:4), expects help from 
the Lord. She is then "as a sparrow 
alone upon the house top," as a lonely 
owl in the desert (Ps. 102 : 6, 7); and 
" so weary with groaning " (Ps. 6 : 6), 
as to be almost ready to expire. 

3. This is that exercise of the cross, 
or school of affliction, in which all 
saints are most effectually trained for 
a happy eternity. Whoever is not in- 
ured to this sort of trials, can know 
but little of God and of his word. In 
this exercise, all the natural powers 
of soul and life consume away, that 
God alone may become our strength 
and support. By such inward trials 
as these, the carnal life is likewise 
more and more weakened, and the 
quickening power of God and of his 
word, perceived with the greater ef- 
fect and experience. And truly, all 



Chap. V.] 



TEUE CHBISTIANITY. 



179 



our efforts ought to centre in this, 
that the external hearing and reading 
of the divine word be practically ap- 
plied to the mind, and improved into 
Christian experience. 

4. This doctrine, therefore, I would 
have firmly rooted in thy mind, name- 
ly, that not the reading or hearing, 
but the doing and practising of the 
word, demonstrates the true Chris- 
tian. James 1 : 22. Without this prac- 
tical improvement, hearing and read- 
ing will be of no great advantage. 
For the word was not committed to 
us, that it might be read and known 
only, but that it might be reduced to 
practice. As a medicine gives no 
relief to the patient who hears of, or 
looks upon it, but at the same time re- 
fuses to take it ; so the word, though 
a remedy for our diseased nature, can 
yet cure no man, or restore him from 
death to life, whilst he refuses to take 
what the word prescribes. Therefore, 
in order to this, fervent and constant 
prayer (according to the example set 
us by David), will be requisite in order 
to enable us to conform our life and 
actions to the divine word. "What ad- 
vantage is it to an artist that he 
knows an art, if he never practises it? 
Will not his supine and careless neg- 
lect reduce him at length to poverty ? 
And what will it avail us to know the 
word of God, and not do it? "That 
servant/' says our Saviour, " which 
knew his lord's will, and prepared 
not himself, neither did according to 
his will, shall be beaten with many 
stripes." Luke 12 : 47. And St. Peter 
affirms, that "it had been better for 
such not to have known the way of 
righteousness, than, after they have 
known it, to turn from the holy com- 
mandment delivered unto them." 2 
Peter 2 : 21. As a father does not 
own him for a son, who in everything 



acts in a manner contrary to his will, 
so not words, but the life and actions, 
are marks and indications of a child 
of God, according to that saying of 
our Saviour : " If ye were Abraham's 
children, ye would do the works of 
Abraham. But now ye seek to kill 
me, — this did not Abraham. — Ye are 
of your father the devil." John 8 : 39, 
40, 44. Why should a barren and 
fruitless tree take up any room in the 
garden, when it only incumbers the 
ground on which it grows? It is surely 
fit for nothing, but to be cast into the 
fire, as is represented in the parable 
of the barren fig-tree. Luke 18 : 6, 7. 
As it would be foolish to give to a raven 
the name of a swan, to which it has 
no resemblance ; so if the men of this 
world should be called by the name 
of true Christians, whilst so little of a 
Christian temper appears in their life 
and manners, I think it would be 
justly counted egregious folly. It is 
not by words, but by deeds and ac- 
tions, that we are to judge of a Chris- 
tian's state, according to that saying 
of St. Paul : " The kingdom of God is 
not in word, but in power." 1 Cor. 
4 : 20. Such is the condition of most 
men at this day, that those who make 
the strongest pretences to the Chris- 
tian name, do nothing but that which 
is contrary to the Christian spirit. 
They are like the people at Eome, 
concerning whom Laurentius Valla 
exclaimed when reading these words 
of our Lord, "Blessed are the mer- 
ciful, blessed are the peacemakers," 
etc. (Matt. 5 : 7-9), " Surely either these 
words are not true, or we are no Chris- 
tians." Man is corrupted to such a 
degree, that even not a few brute 
creatures visibly surpass him in some 
good quality. The dove excels him in 
harmlessness (Matt. 10:16); the ant 
in industry (Prov. 6 : 6)-, the stork in 



180 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



a careful provision for her young; the 
dog in love and fidelity; the ox and 
the ass in knowledge of their master 
(Isa. 1:3); the sheep in meekness 
(Isa. 53:7); the lion in generosity 
and clemency towards weak animals; 
the cock in watchfulness; and the ser- 
pent in wisdom. On the contrary, 
man in his natural state exceeds all 
the beasts in mischief. He is more 
fierce than a wolf; more crafty than 
a fox ; more vain than a peacock ; 
more voracious than a swine; more 
pestilent than a viper; fiercer than a 
bear. Indeed, the Lord Jesus himself 
terms Herod a fox (Luke 13 : 32) ; 
John the Baptist applies the name of 
vipers to the Pharisees (Matt. 3:7); 
and St. Paul that of lion to Nero. 2 
Tim. 4 : 17. Truly, those vices and 
mischiefs, which go single and unac- 
companied in brutes, are oftentimes 
crowded together in one natural man. 
So that the human body is very sig- 
nificantly called by the apostle, " the 
body of sin " (Eom. 6 : 6), as being 
full of sins, and infected with all man- 
ner of defilements. Not to mention, 
that there is no creature so bad and 
pernicious, but that it may be still of 
some use to men. The foxes and 
wolves, for instance, with their skins, 
secure men from the injuries of a rig- 
qrous season. But, alas! what good 
is there to be found in a man aban- 
doned to the conduct of an unregen- 
erate nature ? " Every imagination 
of the thoughts of his heart is only 
evil continually" (Gen. 6:5; 8:21); 
as is more than once expressed in 
Scripture. He exercises his reason to 
practise fraud; he wastes his body 
with pride and lewdness ; and is both 
inwardly and outwardly corrupted, so 
that all his members are justly called 
the "instruments" or weapons "of 
unrighteousness." Eom. 6:13. Hence 



it is, that the Sacred Scriptures repre- 
sent our nature in colors so dark and 
odious, as may strike terror into every 
man that reads them. " There is none 
righteous, no, not one : there is none 
that understandeth, there is none that 
seeketh after God. They are all gone 
out of the way, they are together be- 
come unprofitable ; there is none that 
doeth good, no, not one. Their throat 
is an open sepulchre; with their 
tongues they have used deceit; the 
poison of asps is under their lips; 
whose mouth is full of cursing and 
bitterness ; their feet are swift to shed 
blood ; destruction and misery are 
in their ways; and the way of peace 
have they not known ; there is no 
fear of God before their eyes." Eom. 

3 : 10-18 ; Ps. 14. 

5. Behold here the deplorable image 
of the natural man ! Behold the 
abomination that is common to us 
all ! And now tell me how a man can 
see the kingdom of God, unless he be 
born again from above, or, as St. Paul 
expresses it, " unless he be renewed 
in the spirit of his mind: putting on 
the new man, which after God is cre- 
ated in righteousness and true holi- 
ness?" Eph. 4:23; Col. 3 : 10. And 
the same apostle says, "But ye have 
not so learned Christ; if so be that ye 
have heard him, and have been taught 
by him, as the truth is in Jesus." Eph. 

4 : 20, 21. Yea, he says, " They that 
are Christ's, have crucified the flesh 
with the affections and lusts." Gal. 

5 : 24. Alas ! if those belong not to 
Christ, who do not mortify the mem- 
bers of unrighteousness, but live in 
the pollutions of sin, then they surely 
must belong to the devil, and cannot 
inherit the kingdom of heaven, since 
they do not crucify the flesh. For 
whosoever desires to please God, must 
become " a new creature " in Christ 



Chap. V.] 



TEXTE CHEISTIANITY. 



181 



(2 Cor. 5 : 17); "in whom neither cir- 
cumcision availeth any thing, nor un- 
circumcision, but a new creature/' 
Gal. 6 : 15. Now, since these are the 
terms on which our eternal welfare 
depends, let it be our main concern, 
that we more and more vanquish sin 
in our mortal bodies, and that we be 
members, not of Satan, but of Jesus 
Christ. Let us earnestly endeavor, 
that the divine Word may gain 
ground, and bear fruit in our souls. 
Let us strive to render our lives ac- 
ceptable to God, so that, being pre- 
served by his grace to the end, we 
may continue " vessels of mercy, and 
not of wrath." Eom. 9 : 22, 23. 

6. It is for this reason that David so 
heartily wishes to lead a holy life, 
conformably to the word of God : " I 
cried/' says he, " with my whole heart; 
hear me, O Lord; I will keep thy 
statutes" (Ps. 119:145): for since our 
conversion is entirely from above, it 
follows, that a holy life must be ob- 
tained by continual prayer and sup- 
plication. " Heal me, O Lord," says 
the prophet, " and I shall be healed ; 
save me, and I shall be saved : for 
thou art my praise." Jer. 17 : 14 ; 31 : 
18. And David says again, " I cried 
unto thee ; save me, and I shall keep 
thy testimonies." Ps. 119 : 146. Sin 
and the kingdom of Satan are, indeed, 
so strong and powerful in man, that 
it is in vain to attempt their conquest 
without the divine aid and assistance. 

7. Let us therefore shake off all 
sloth and negligence, and let us ac- 
quit ourselves diligently, in a matter 
of so great importance. David him- 
self further adds, "I prevented (that 
is, I came before) the dawning of the 
morning, and cried: I hoped in thy 
word. Mine eyes prevent (or, antici- 
pate) the night watches, that I might 
meditate in thy word." Ps. 119 : 147, 



148. And very appropriate are the 
words of the prophet on this account: 
" He wakeneth me morning by morn- 
ing: he wakeneth mine ear to hear as 
the learned." Isa. 50 : 4. "With which 
those of Solomon agree: "I sleep, but 
my heart waketh: it is the voice of 
my beloved that knocketh." Song 5 : 2. 
8. In these and the like sentences 
of Scripture, we may view the fath- 
erly care and condescending love of 
our merciful God; since his delight is 
to be conversant with the sons of men, 
to speak with them and to instruct 
them. Hence he appointed his Son to 
be our heavenly Teacher and Master ; 
of which the Lord Jesus himself gave 
a visible image when he was found in 
the temple in the midst of the doctors, 
and astonished the hearers with " his 
understanding and answers." Luke 2 : 
47. This was done by our Saviour, 
not merely on account of the Jewish 
temple, which is now destroyed ; but 
rather on account of the Christian 
Church itself, which is the true and 
heavenly Jerusalem, taught and in- 
structed by his Word and Spirit. It 
was also done with reference to the 
temple of our heart, in which he will 
teach, comfort, enlighten, and sanctify 
us. Here he will pray, ask questions, 
and answer them; and speak in holy 
thoughts, and devout meditations. 
And in this the prophetical office of 
Christ consists. Hence also he re- 
plied to his mother in these words : 
"How is it that ye sought me? Wist 
ye not that I must be about my fath- 
er's business ?" (Luke 2 : 49), meaning 
that office which was conferred upon 
him by his Father. This office he now 
performs at the right hand of God, as 
our true and only High priest ; and 
upon earth he discharges it by his 
word; by means of which he also in- 
wardly preaches in our hearts by his 



182 



TEUB CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book IL 



Holy Spirit and gracious illumination. 
Without this, the outward preaching 
must prove barren and unfruitful, ac- 
cording to the words of the apostle : 
"I have planted, Apollos watered; but 



God gave the increase. So then nei- 
ther is he that planteth any thing, 
neither he that watereth ; but God 
that giveth the increase." 1 Cor. 3 : 
6,7. 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE PERFECTION AND SALVATION OF MEN DEPEND ON UNION WITH CHRIST BY 
FAITH ; BUT TO THIS THEY CAN CONTRIBUTE NOTHING, WHEREAS THEY 
RATHER INTERFERE WITH THE GRACE OF GOD BY THEIR PERVERSE WILL; 
BUT CHRIST, AND HE ALONE, ACCOMPLISHES THE WORK IN US. 

Without me ye can do nothing. — John 15:5. 



AS man by his apostasy from God, 
through ambition and self-love, 
was separated from him, and fell from 
the perfection in which he was cre- 
ated, so he must of necessity return 
to his original tranquillity and happi- 
ness, by a union with God j in which 
the whole of human perfection con- 
sists. It was therefore necessary, 
that the Son of God should become 
man, in order that human nature, be- 
ing again united to God, might there- 
by be restored to its primitive integ- 
rity and perfection. As the divine 
and human natures are united in the 
one Person of Christ, so must we all, 
through grace, be united to him by 
faith, as to our eternal and sovereign 
Good. In this manner it pleased God 
to rectify the exceeding corruption of 
our nature by the abounding goodness 
of his grace. This union is declared 
by the Son of God himself: " I will 
betroth thee," says he, "unto me for 
ever, in loving kindness and in mer- 
cies." Hos. 2 : 19. For since our na- 
ture is infected and corrupted by sin, 
which is the greatest of evils, it could 
not be restored and healed but by God 
himself, the sovereign Good. 



2. Now as the union of the divine 
and the human natures in Christ is 
eternal, and is never to be dissolved, 
insomuch that even death itself could 
not break asunder so sacred a bond : 
so Christ our Head is to be so firmly 
united with his faithful members, that 
neither life nor death may ever be 
able to separate them from him. This 
is also declared by the prophet Hosea, 
in the Person of Christ : " I will," 
says he, "betroth thee unto me for 
ever." 

3. This union by faith, is of the 
highest necessity, because " our iniqui- 
ties have separated between us and our 
God." Isa. 59 : 2. And this deplorable 
state will continue to all eternity, un- 
less Christ dwell in us here by faith. 
Moreover, we are not able to do the 
least good, unless Christ himself work 
it in us. Hence, says the apostle, 
"Not I, but the grace of God which 
is with me." 1 Cor. 15 : 10. And the 
Lord himself says : " Without me ye 
can do nothing" (John 15:5); the 
truth of which he illustrates by the 
beautiful parable of the vine and the 
branches. Whence it naturally fol- 
lows, that if we are, or do, any good 



Chap. VI.] 



TKUE CHKISTIANITY. 



183 



at all, it is altogether to be ascribed to 
God alone; according to what is said 
by the prophet : " Thou hast wrought 
all our works in us" (Isa. 26:12); 
and by another : " I am like a green 
fir-tree. From me is thy fruit found." 
Hos. 14:8. 

4. O man ! consider therefore, what 
thou art, and what thou canst do. 
What hast thou been able to contrib- 
ute to thy restoration and the renova- 
tion of thy depraved nature? Surely 
nothing. As thou couldst not afford 
any help toward thy bodily birth, nor 
create thyself; so neither canst thou 
bring any assistance towards thy new 
birth or regeneration. Thou canst 
indeed lose, corrupt, and destroy thy- 
self; but to renew, to restore, to heal, 
to justify, and to quicken thyself, is a 
work entirely beyond thy strength. 
Couldest thou contribute anything 
that God might become man ? No. 
There is nothing therefore that thou 
canst arrogate to thyself, or ascribe 
to thy own ability. Indeed, the more 
a man attributes to his own will, 
strength, and ability, the more effec- 
tually does he obstruct divine grace, 
and the renewal of his corrupted 
nature. Let us therefore wholly re- 
nounce our own strength, our own 
wisdom, our own will, and self-love, 
that, being thus resigned to God alone, 
we may suffer his power freely to work 
in us, so that nothing may, in the 
least, oppose the will and operations 
of the Lord. 

5. Until thou art brought to this, 
O Christian, that thy mind becomes 
merely passive, and that thou purely 
suffer est the operation and will of God, 
it is evident, that God is impeded by 
thee, so that he cannot unite himself 
with thy soul ; or by true renovation 
of thy corrupt nature establish his 



image there. 



For our own will, self- 



love, ambition, the opinion of our own 
wisdom, and whatever we arrogantly 
claim to ourselves, are so many im- 
pediments, why God cannot freely 
operate in us, and effect his good will. 
For as a man's own will more and 
more corrupts and depraves him ; so 
the will of God more and more per- 
fects and restores him. 

6. Hence, it was said by Bonaven- 
tura, that "the highest perfection of 
religion, consists in renouncing our 
own will." And by Augustine, " If 
to love God is the greatest good to 
man, to love himself must needs be his 
greatest evil. And, if such is the nature 
of good, that it diffuses and communi- 
cates itself; of necessity self-love must 
be a great evil, since it engrosses to 
itself both its own and the goods of 
others, and will not part with any of 
them." Of this even the pagan Sene- 
ca himself was not ignorant,, when he 
said : " That only is an accession to 
virtue, which is a denial of thy own 
will." And again : " Unless thou de- 
partest from thyself, thou canst not 
approach God, who is above thee." 

7. Our own will is nothing else but 
a defection or apostasy from God. 
Defection verily is easy, smooth, and 
pleasant ; but the recovery from it is 
bitter, troublesome, and difficult; yea, 
even beyond all the power of the crea- 
ture. For man, by his own strength, 
can neither return, nor in any wise 
help himself, whether in will or deed, 
Man's will is captive, and his works^ 
are dead. Christ alone is able to help,, 
in the beginning, the progress, and the.- 
end. He lays before us two means,, 
the law and the gospel ; or repentance' 
and remission of sin. Through the 
law, in the first place, thou must die 
with Christ, and by true sorrow and. 
brokenness of heart sacrifice thy own 
will. Thou must become as nothing; 



184 



TEUE CHBISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



in thine own eyes, and resign thyself 
wholly to Christ. Then grace and for- 
giveness of sin are conferred through 
the gospel, and man, that was dead be- 
fore, is made alive by faith. Whence 
it appears, that no man can by his 
own strength convert and quicken 
himself. For it is absolutely neces- 
sary that he hate, deny, and lose him- 
self; that he be displeased with, and 
die unto, himself; and that his hope 
be placed entirely in God aloue, by 
whose grace he expects to live. 

8. But even this self-hatred, denial, 
and mortification, are not the effect 
of our own will and ability. " It is 
not," says St. Paul, "of him that will- 
eth, nor of him that runneth, but of 
God that sheweth mercy." Eom. 9 : 16. 
It is God therefore alone who operates 
all this in us by his grace, and by the 
power of his good Spirit : so that our 
justification is not derived from any 
creature whatsoever, but from God 



alone, whose work and gift it is. For 
the most dangerous enemy any man 
has, is himself; insomuch that we have 
great reason to implore the Lord to 
deliver us from ourselves and all that 
we have by nature, and then to bestow 
that which flows from his grace. By 
our own strength we are not able to 
perform the least good, if God, him- 
self, even after conversion, do not 
graciously operate in us. Who is 
there that can endue us with love and 
mercy, but God, who is love itself, 
and from whom all other graces pro- 
ceed ? Therefore, Christ alone is our 
help and support, when the help of 
men cannot avail. But after all, be 
the condition ever so low to which 
man has been brought by the fall of 
Adam, he is now raised again by 
Christ, and even exalted to a higher 
degree than he possessed before. But 
of this more shall be said in Chapter 
XI. 



CHAPTER VII 



SHOWING THAT IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUE NATURE OF REPENTANCE 
WE MUST NECESSARILY KNOW THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE OLD AND THE 
NEW MAN; OR, HOW IN US ADAM MUST DIE, AND CHRIST LIVE; OR, HOW IN 
US THE OLD MAN MUST DIE, AND THE NEW MAN LIVE. 

We know this, that our old man is crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, 
that henceforth we should not serve sin. — Rom. 6 : 6. 



IN every Christian there is found a 
twofold man, opposed, like their 
fruits, to one another. This will more 
fully appear from the following state- 
ment : 



Adam, 
Old man, 
Outward man, 
Old birth, 

Flesh, 
Nature, 



Christ. 
New man. 
Inward man. 
New birth. 
Spirit. 
Grace. 



Eeason, 

Darkness, 

Tree of death, 

Evil fruit, 

Sin, 

Damnation, 

Death, 

Old Jerusalem, 

Kingdom of the devil, 

Seed of the serpent, 

Natural man, 

Image of the earthly, 



Faith. 
Light. 
Tree of life. 
Good fruit. 

Kighteousness. 

Salvation. 

Life. 

New Jerusalem. 

Kingdom of God. 

Seed of God. 

Spiritual man. 

Image of the heavenly. 



Chap. VII.] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



185 



The truth of this statement, the 
Scriptures, as well as experience, abun- 
dantly confirm. The former speak 
largely of the old man and the new, 
of the inward and outward man. See 
Eph. 4 : 24; Col. 3 : 9 ; 2 Cor. 4 : 16. 
They teach also that the Spirit of 
God is in us: Eom. 8: 11; 1 Cor. 3 : 
16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1: 13. 
And likewise Christ, Gal. 2 : 20 ; 2 
Cor. 13 : 5. Experience, moreover, de- 
monstrates the same. Hither may 
also be referred that striving and 
struggling of the flesh and Spirit, 
from which even the saints are not 
free. Eom. 7 : 23. Likewise there be- 
long here the different fruits of the 
flesh and Spirit reckoned up by St. 
Paul. Gal. 5 : 19-23. This point is 
therefore clearly stated in Scripture, 
and too certain to be called in question 
by any Christian. It is the hinge, as 
it were, on which all the Scripture 
moves, and the foundation on which 
the true knowledge of man depends. 
Out of the same fountain issue true 
repentance, or the death of Adam, 
and the life of Christ in us. For no 
sooner does Adam die in us, but there 
perishes with him all that is origi- 
nally derived from him ; the old out- 
ward man, the old birth, the flesh, na- 
ture, corrupt reason, darkness, the 
tree of death, evil fruits, sin, death, 
damnation, the seed of the serpent, 
the natural man, the earthly image, 
the old Jerusalem, and the kingdom 
of Satan. But as long as Adam lives, 
there also live and reign with him the 
old man, and the carnal birth, the 
flesh, nature, corrupt reason, dark- 
ness, and the whole train of evils be- 
fore mentioned, being all comprised 
under the kingdom of Satan, and sub- 
ject to damnation, and to the curse 
everlasting. But if, on the other hand, 
Christ live in any one, then verily 



there live and reign with him the new 
and inward man, the new birth, the 
Spirit, grace, faith, light, the tree of 
life, good fruits, righteousness, life, 
happiness, the seed of God, the spirit- 
ual man, the heavenly image, the new 
Jerusalem, and the kingdom of God. 
All which proceed from the divine 
blessing, and tend to eternal salva- 
tion. Here is a matter of importance, 
namely, so to order one's life and con- 
duct, that Christ the new or second 
Adam, and not the old Adam, may 
live and reign in us. 

2. Therefore it is necessary for a 
man to watch, to fast, to pray, fight, 
and strive; and, as St. Paul expresses 
it, to examine himself if Christ be in 
him. 2 Cor. 13 : 5. He is to work out 
his salvation with fear and trembling. 
Phil. 2 : 12. He is to enter through 
the strait gate and the narrow way 
in Christ. Matt. 7 : 13. That is, man 
must now hate and deny himself, for- 
sake all (Luke 14 : 26), and die unto 
sin. Eom. 6 : 2. This surely is not to 
be effected, as the delicate Christians 
of this age imagine, by any careless 
and slight application of mind, but 
by an inward and profound sorrow, 
contrition, and brokenness of heart, 
together with groans and tears that 
cannot be uttered. These inward ex- 
ercises, and acts of devotion, are most 
feelingly set forth by David in his 
Penitential Psalms, which abound with 
expressions of this nature. Ps. 6 ; 32 ; 
38; 51; 102; 130; 143. The apostle 
calls it a crucifying of the flesh with 
the affections and lusts thereof. Gal. 
5 : 24. Whoever attains to this state, 
in him verily Christ lives, and he re- 
ciprocally in Christ by faith. Then 
Christ conquers and reigns in man, 
whose faith is become " the victory 
that overcometh the world." 1 John 
5:4. 



186 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II, 



3. But since the world, which thou 
art to strive against, is not without 
thee, but within thee, it follows, that it 
is also to be conquered not without, 
but within thee. For what is the 
world, but "the lust of the flesh, and 
the lust of the eyes, and the pride of 
life?" 1 John 2:16. As these are in 
thee, so in thee they are to be sub- 
dued, that thus thou mayest worthily 
bear the name and character of a true 
child of God. "For whatsoever is 
born of God, overcometh the world " 
(1 John 5:4); and if thou overcoraest, 
and gainest the victory over thy great 
enemy the world, thou art then a 
child of light (Bph. 5:8), a member 
of Christ (1 Cor. 12 : 27 ; Eph. 5 : 30), 
and the temple of the Holy Ghost. 1 
Cor. 6 : 19. Thou art now a good tree 
(Matt. 12 : 33), that freely and with- 
out constraint, yea, with joy, love, and 
pleasure, bringe th forth fruit to the 
glory of God. Matt. 5 : 16. 

4. But if thou livest in Adam, and 
Adam reigns in thee, then thou art 
not a child of God, nor born again of 
him. For since thou art overcome by 
the world, and since the prince there- 
of rules in thee by pride, ambition, 
and self-love, thou art on this very ac- 
count to be numbered amongst the 
children of the devil. John 8 : 44. " For 
as many as are led by the Spirit of 
God, they are the sons of God." Rom. 
8 : 14. And, on the contrary, as many 
as are led by Satan, they likewise are 
his children; yea, they are the very 
members of Satan, sons of darkness, 
a habitation of unclean spirits, an ac- 
cursed Babylon, full of impure and of 
abominable beasts; as it is represented 
by the ancient prophets (Isa. 13 : 21 ; 
Rev. 18:2); but particularly by the 
prophet Ezekiel. He being brought 
in spirit into the temple at Jerusalem, 
beheld two remarkable things : one 



whereof was, "every form of creep- 
ing things, and abominable beasts, and 
all the idols of the house of Israel, por- 
trayed upon the wall round about ;" 
and secondly (which was still more de- 
testable), " seventy men of the ancients 
of the house of Israel, worshipping 
these beasts and images, and offering 
them incense." Ezek. 8 : 10, 11. 

5. Behold, O man, a lively repre- 
sentation here given of thy depraved, 
brutish, and beastly heart ! If thou 
wilt but enter into this temple of thy 
heart, thou shalt surely find therein 
vast numbers of foul, detestable crea- 
tures, images, and idols, fashioned and 
represented by all manner of corrupt 
and impure thoughts in the carnal 
mind, imagination, and memory. More- 
over (and this is the greatest evil of 
all), though these idols and horrid 
abominations should be utterly ban- 
ished from the heart, and this detest- 
able evil, by which man is made the 
habitation of unclean and pestilential 
reptiles, should, by all means, be de- 
stroyed by repentance, by mortifica- 
tion of the flesh, and by penitential 
tears and humiliation ; yet, instead of 
doing that, thou lovest these serpents, 
adorest these vile monsters, and serv- 
est and caressest them. Alas ! thou 
but little regardest that Christ is cast 
out of thy soul by these abominations, 
and is utterly banished from thy 
heart; and that by this means thou 
deprivest thyself of the supreme and 
eternal Good, losing the Holy Spirit 
with all his excellent gifts and graces. 
O miserable man ! thou exceedingly 
grievest when any outward trouble 
befalls thee, or when thou losest any- 
thing in the world that is dear to 
thee; why then is it, that thou art not 
at all concerned at the loss even of 
Christ himself, and at the deplorable 
state of thy soul and body, which are 



Chap. TIL] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



187 



both become a habitation of malignant 
spirits ! 

6. If these things be seriously pon- 
dered and laid to heart, we shall soon 
understand what Adam and Christ 
are; and how they live and act in 
men. To this head we may also refer 
the following observations. First, In 
Adam we are all naturally equal, nor 
is one better than another; since we 
are all, both as to body and soul, 
equally polluted and corrupted, so that 
it is affirmed by St. Paul, not only of 
Jews and Gentiles, but even of all 
men in general, that "there is no dif- 
ference." Eom. 3 : 22. Hence it is also 
true, that in the sight of God, no man 
is better than the most profligate crim- 
inal. For though that perverse tem- 
per which is natural to all, does not 
equally in all break out into works, 
yet God judges all men by the inward 
state of the heart, that poisoned foun- 
tain of all sin. Nor is there any sin so 
heinous, which man by nature would 
not freely commit, were he not strongly 
restrained by divine grace. For by 
the bent of our nature we are but too 
much inclined to pollute ourselves with 
all manner of wickedness (Jer. 13 : 
23) ; and if the inclination be not al- 
ways attended with the external effect 
itself, it is wholly to be attributed to 
the grace of God, and not to any 
strength or prudence of our own. Gen. 
20 : 6. This consideration should ex- 
cite us to the practice of true humility, 
and to an unfeigned fear of God ; and 
at the same time restrain us from 
rashly despising our fellow-creatures, 
lest, by reflecting on others, we our- 



selves split upon the dangerous rock 
of carnal presumption. Secondly, It 
is proper to observe, that as in Adam 
we are all equally bad with regard to 
the corruption of nature ; so by Christ 
we are all made equallyjust and holy; 
no man receiving for himself any pre- 
rogative of a peculiar righteousness in 
the siu-ht of God. For since Christ is 
our perfection, our "wisdom, right- 
eousness, sanctification, and redemp- 
tion " (1 Cor. 1 : 30 ; 6 : 11), we, who 
in Adam are alike, are also alike in 
Christ. For as in Adam by nature 
we are all one man and one body, in- 
fected with the foul contagion of diso- 
bedience and sin, so all true Christians 
are as one man in Christ, and make 
up one body, completely purified and 
sanctified by faith, and the blood of 
Christ. 

7. This truth is a remedy against 
spiritual pride, namely, that none 
should account himself better before 
God than others, though perhaps 
adorned with greater gifts, and endow- 
ments. For even these are no less be- 
stowed on him of pure grace, than are 
righteousness and salvation them- 
selves. Upon this principle of pure 
grace, be careful to keep thy mind 
constantly fixed. If thou dost so, 
then this grace shall protect thee 
against the dangerous snares of pride 
and arrogance ; and as, on the one 
hand, it will convince thee of thy own 
misery and poverty in spirit, so, on 
the other, it will give thee a most 
lively insight into Christ, and into the 
exceeding riches of grace, offered 
through him to all mankind. 



188 



TEXTE CHKIST1ANITY. 



[Book II. 



/ 



CHAPTER VIII. 

SHOWING HOW GRACIOUSLY GOD INVITES US TO REPENTANCE, AND HOW NECES- 
SARY IT IS THAT IT SHOULD NOT BE DELAYED. 



Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that 

repenteth. — Luke 15 : 10. 



GOD, who is of infinite mercy, in 
order that be might the better 
soften our hard and stony hearts, and 
turn them from the world, ourselves, 
and the devil, unto himself (Acts 
26 : 18), has, in his Word, variously 
represented and set before our eyes 
man's conversion and repentance. 

2. Among other ways of impressing 
it on our minds, the two parables of 
the Lost Sheep and of the Prodigal Son 
(Luke, chap. 15), are exceedingly af- 
fecting, and are so abundant in divine 
consolation, that it is scarcely possible 
seriously to think upon them without 
tears. Therein our Saviour describes 
three different hearts. Of these the 
first is, the impenitent heart of a sin- 
ner; the second, the contrite heart of 
a penitent; the third, the heart of 
God, full of mercy and paternal affec- 
tion. 

3. The first he describes under the 
similitude of a degenerate son, waste- 
fully spending his substance and in- 
heritance, and at last reduced to such 
necessity, as to wish to fill his belly 
with the husks which the swine did 
eat. By this figure all mankind in 
their natural state are shadowed forth; 
who, as so many degenerate sons, 
have squandered away the heavenly 
inheritance by continual riot and 
wickedness. That is, they have lost 
their original righteousness, holiness, 
innocency, and the beautiful image of 
God, in which they were at first cre- 



ated (Eph. 4 : 24), and are now by 
their own fault become the bond-slaves 
of sin, of the devil, and of death. And 
to complete their ruin, finding no re- 
lief, rest, or comfort, in any human per- 
formances and laws (which answer 
to the husks in the parable) they 
must of necessity perish with endless 
famine and misery, unless they speed- 
ily have recourse unto the grace of 
their Heavenly Father. 

4. The second heart, which is that 
of a repenting sinner, is set forth in 
these words : " How many hired ser- 
vants of my Father have bread enough, 
and to spare, and I perish with hun- 
ger ! I will arise, and go to my Father, 
and will say unto him, Father, I have 
sinned against heaven, and before 
thee ; and am no more worthy to be 
called thy son." In this account we 
have a very moving description of 
true repentance. By the Prodigal's 
coming to himself, is signified sor- 
row for sin ; that is, when a man, on 
the one hand, reflects upon his own 
misery, and considers how, from being 
a child of God, he is become, as it were, 
a brute beast (2 Pet. 2 : 12), an unclean 
swine, a man void of reason, earthly 
and sensual; and, on the other, mind- 
ful of his divine origin, turns his 
thoughts entirely upon his Father, 
repents, acknowledges his offences, 
and says, u Father, I have sinned 
against heaven, and before thee;" and 
have offended both God and man. 



Chap. VIII.] 



TEUE CHBISTIAKITY. 



139 



This he immediately confirms by a 
sincere contempt of himself, expressed 
in these words: "and am no more 
worthy to be called thy son." More- 
over, fa ith, which is the other part of 
repentance, is exhibited to us in his 
actual arising and returning to his 
father's house. He assumed confi- 
dence to repair to his home, and firmly 
persuaded himself that his father 
would receive him, if not as a son, at 
least as one of his hired servants. 
" For," says he, " I am no more worthy 
to he called thy son; make me as one 
of thy hired servants." This plainly 
shows the sure hope he entertained, 
that his father would yield to his en- 
treaties, and receive him into his favor. 
5. And now I come, thirdly, to draw 
the character of the paternal heart of 
God, set forth in the parable. 

I. When the son was yet a great way 
off, his father saw him. Behold the pre- 
venient mercy of our Heavenly Father, 
who graciously looks for his prodigal 
children. Ps. 79:8; Isa. 30:18, 19; Ps. 
32:8. 

II. And was moved with compassion. 
Hereby is represented his mercy wait- 
ing to be gracious to us. 

III. And ran and fell on his neck. 
Here is mercy receiving into favor. 

IV. And kissed him. This exhibits 
mercy ready to administer consolation 
to the returning sinner. Micah 7 : 19 ; 
Isa. 66 : 13. 

V. Bring forth, says he, the best robe, 
and put it on him (Isa. 61 : 10). This 
has relation to Christ, and points out 
his righteousness, and justifying grace. 
Eom. 8:33. 

VI. And put a ring on his hand. 
Hereby is signified the Holy Spirit, 
the pledge of sonship (Gal. 4:6; Eph. 
1 : 5), the seal of intimate favor and 
union ; and it also represents to us the 
espousing mercy of the Lord. 



VII. And shoes on his feet. This de- 
notes a new and holy walk in Christ, 
resulting from the Divine power, and 
the grace of the Holy Spirit; which 
are the peculiar effects of preserving 
mercy. 1 Peter 1:5; Ps. 81 : 11. 

VIII. Bring hither the fatted calf. By 
this feast is represented the joy of an- 
gels, or rejoicing and crowning mercy, 
described by the holy Psalmist, and 
the prophet Isaiah. Ps. 63:5; 103: 
5; Isa. 65: 13. 

6. What strong and endearing ars;u- 
ments are here offered by the goodness 
of God inviting us to sincere repent- 
ance ! Let us, then, seriously consider 
some of the main inducements to true 
repentance, of which seven shall be 
proposed at present. 

I. The boundless mercy of God. 

II. The kindness of Christ, and his 
inestimable merit. 

III. The awful threatenings and 
punishments that are laid before us. 

IV. Death. 

V. The last judgment, 

VI. Hell. And 

VII. Everlasting joy. 

I. THE MERCY OF GOD. 

7. " If thou shalt seek the Lord thy 
God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek 
him with all thy heart, and with all 
thy soul. When thou art in tribula- 
tion, and all these things are come 
upon thee, even in the latter days, if 
thou turn to the Lord thy God, and 
shalt be obedient unto his voice ; (for 
the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) 
he will not forsake thee, neither de- 
stroy thee, nor forget the covenant of 
thy fathers, which he sware unto 
them." Deut. 4 : 29-31. What tender 
affection, as of the heart of a father, 
have we here presented to us ! And 
how just and reasonable is it, that it 
should move us to repentance ! For 
how numerous and great soever our 



190 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



sins may be, the mercy of God is still 
greater, according to the words of the 
Psalmist: "With the Lord there is 
mercy ; and with him is plenteous re- 
demption. And he shall redeem Is- 
rael from all his iniquities." Ps. 130 : 7, 
8. And again : "According unto the 
multitude of thy tender mercies, blot 
out my transgressions." Ps. 51 : 1. Nor 
are our sins so filthy and abominable, 
but God can make them white as 
snow. "Though your sins," says the 
prophet, "be as scarlet, they shall be 
as white as snow." Isa. 1 : 18. And 
the Psalmist says: "Purge me with 
hyssop, and I shall be clean ; wash me, 
and I shall be whiter than snow." Ps. 
51 : 7. Neither are they so various 
and manifold, but that they are sur- 
passed by the riches of divine grace, 
according to the apostle: "In Christ 
we have redemption through his blood, 
the forgiveness of sins, according to 
the riches of his grace." Eph. 1 : 7. 
And what we read in Exodus teaches 
the same : " The Lord, the Lord God, 
merciful and gracious, long-suffering, 
and abundant in goodness and truth; 
forgiving iniquity, and transgression, 
and sin." Exod. 34 : 6, 7. Nor are they 
so strong and powerful, but God can 
destroy them, and throw them into 
the depth of the sea, as he did unto 
Pharaoh and all his host. " He will 
subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt 
cast all their sins into the depths of 
the sea." Micah 7 : 19. Nor, finally, 
are they so mortal and pestilential, 
but God can heal them, as the prophet 
assures us : " The wicked shall not fall 
by his wickedness in the day that he 
turneth from it." Ezek. 33 : 12. 

II. THE KINDNESS OF CHRIST. 

8. How kindly and affectionately 
Christ Jesus receives sinners, he him- 
self abundantly declares in the Gospel: 



"They that be whole," says he, "need 
not a physician, but they that are sick. 
I am not come to call the righteous, 
but sinners to repentance." Matt. 
9 : 12, 13. " The Son of man is come to 
seek and to save that which was lost." 
Luke 19 : 10. Of this gracious bounty 
of Christ towards returning sinners, 
the prophets have left us many pre- 
dictions. " Woe be to the shepherds 
of Israel," saith Ezekiel, " who have 
not sought that which was lost : but 
with force and with cruelty have ye 
ruled them. And they were scattered, 
because there is no shepherd. Behold, 
I, even I, will both search my sheep, 
and seek them out. As a shepherd 
seeketh out his flock, in the day that 
he is among his sheep that are scat- 
tered ; so will I seek that which was 
lost, and bring again that which was 
driven away, and will bind up that 
which was broken, and will strengthen 
that which was sick." Ezek. 34 : 2, 4, 12, 
16. And the prophet Isaiah says, " He 
shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he 
shall gather the lambs with his arm, 
and carry them in his bosom." Isai. 
40 : 11. Nor should only the gracious ■ 
nature of Christ move thee to repent- 
ance ; but more especially his extreme 
sorrow, and most innocent blood shed 
on thine account. For consider with- 
in thyself: 

(1.) That he laid down his life, not 
for heaven or earth, but for thy soul. 
And wilt thou, by sin and impenitence, 
wantonly cast away so great and val- 
uable a treasure ? 

(2.) Remember, that thou couldest 
not have been redeemed by any other 
or less price than the precious blood 
of Christ (1 Pet. 1 : 19). Why sbould- 
est thou deprive thyself of a ransom 
so inestimable as the Redeemer has 
paid for thee? 

(3.) Call to mind, that Christ has 



Chap. VIII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



191 



redeemed thee from the world, from 
sin and the devil. And dost thou de- 
sire to continue longer in the service 
of so hard and cruel a master? 

(4.) Be assured, that without un- 
feigned repentance, the merit of Christ 
will avail thee nothing ; yea, that thou 
tramplest under foot his blood, and 
dost " despite unto the Spirit of grace." 
Heb. 10 : 29. 

(5.) Lastly, consider how sharp and 
cruel were the sufferings which thy 
Saviour underwent on thy account ! 
How he wept and sorrowed, trembled 
and feared ! Heb. 5 : 7. How griev- 
ously he was wounded for thy trans- 
gressions (Isa. 53 : 5), and, at last, as 
a worm (Ps. 22 : 6), and cursed (Gal. 
3 : 13), hung upon a tree ! How loudly 
this mournful scene calls on thee to 
repent ! 

III. THREATS OF TEMPORAL PUNISH- 
MENT. 

9. " God judgeth the righteous," 
saiththe Psalmist, "and God is angry 
with the wicked every day. If he 
turn not, he will whet his sword: he 
hath bent his bow, and made it ready : 
he hath also prepared for him the in- 
struments of death : he ordaineth his 
arrows against the persecutors." Ps. 
7:11-13. 

10. This wrath and revenge, no man 
will ever be able to escape, as the 
prophet Amos affirms: "He that es- 
capeth of them shall not be delivered. 
Though they climb up to heaven, 
thence I will bring them down : and 
though they be hid from my sight in 
the bottom of the sea, thence will I 
command the serpent, and he shall bite 
them. Behold, the eyes of the Lord 
God are upon the sinful kingdom, and 
1 will destroy it from off the face of 
the earth." Amos 9 : 1-3, 8. "Their 
blood shall be poured out as dust," saith 



Zephaniah, 1 : 17, 18, " and their flesh as 
the dung. Neither their silver, nor 
their gold, shall be able to deliver them 
in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the 
whole land shall be devoured by the 
fire of his jealousy." Such terrible 
threatenings as these should lead us 
to unfeigned repentance; this being 
the only means by which to prevent 
impending desolation, and the total 
destruction of nations and cities; as 
evidently appears from the example 
of Nineveh. Jonah 3:5, 10. "At 
what instant I shall speak concerning 
a nation, and concerning a kingdom, 
to pluck up, and to pull down, and to 
destroy it ; if that nation against 
whom I have pronounced, turn from 
their evil, I will repent of the evil 
that I thought to do unto them." 
Jer. 18 : 7, 8. 

IV. DEATH. 

11. God has concealed the time of 
our death from us, that thereby we 
may be kept in the daily and uninter- 
rupted practice of true repentance, as 
not knowing which hour may be our 
last. " The whole life of a man is 
given him for repentance," saith St. 
Bernard. And this repentance is a 
Christian's daily cross and tribula- 
tion. Thus it is said in the Psalms : 
"I am ready to halt, and my sorrow 
is continually before me." Ps. 38 : 17 ; 
73 : 14. God has promised grace to 
the penitent, but he has not promised 
to sinners another day in which to 
repent. " It is appointed unto men 
once to die • but after this the judg- 
ment." Heb. 9 : 27. Such as God shall 
find thee, as such will he judge thee : 
wherefore, live in such a manner as 
thou wouldest wish to have done, 
when thou art dying. Consider seri- 
ously in thy mind, where they now 
are, who but a few years ago wasted 



192 



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[Book II 



their lives with lust and vanity, and 
freely enjoyed the "good things" of 
this world? Luke 16 : 25. They are 
all gone to their own place, where 
they wait for the day of judgment. 
Wherefore, " come out of her, my 
people, that ye be not partakers of 
her sins, and that ye receive not of 
her plagues." Eev. 18 : 4. 

V. THE LAST JUDGMENT. 

12. For after death, there is neither 
place nor time for repentance. It is 
in this world that eternal life is either 
lost or obtained. Those that repent 
betimes, shall not be condemned in 
judgment; but the impenitent will 
hear the awful sentence : " Depart 
from me, ye cursed, into everlasting 
fire." Matt. 25 : 41. " Behold, there- 
fore, now is the accepted time; be- 
hold, now is the day of salvation !" 
(2 €or. 6 : 2), which will be followed 
by the day of judgment in the other 
world. " To-day, therefore, if ye will 
hear his voice, harden not your hearts, 
as in the provocation; lest I swear in 
my wrath, that ye shall not enter into 
my rest." Ps. 95 : 7, 8, 11 ; Heb. 3 : 7, 
8, 11. " For we must all appear be- 
fore the judgment-seat of Christ, that 
every one may receive the things done 
in his body, whether it be good or 
bad." 2 Cor. 5 : 10. Those, therefore, 
who here repent, "shall have their 
sins covered" (Ps. 32: 1), and "they 
shall no more be mentioned unto 
them," as the prophet declares. Ezek. 
33 : 16. Lay hold, therefore, on the 
offer of mercy betimes, know and con- 
fess thy sins, O man, that they may 
be remitted and forgotten. 

VI. ETERNAL PAINS OF HELL. 

13. With this present life, the sea- 
son of the mercy of God closes. It 
will then be said: "Son, remember 



that thou in thy lifetime receivedst 
thy good things." Luke 16 : 25. Thy 
life is now over. Thou art now dead ! 
Dead to God forever, to whom thou 
didst refuse to live in time ! There is 
no redemption from hell. Ps. 49 : 14- 
20. How can the damned enjoy the 
goodness of God, to which they were 
dead whilst they were alive, and to 
which they will now continue dead to 
all eternity ! Eemember, therefore, 
that now is the only time for mercy, 
and the hour of visitation to repent; 
whereas, there the damned so die, as, 
notwithstanding, always to live ; and 
so. live, as yet to die eternally. All 
the senses will there suffer torment. 
The sight shall be punished with eter- 
nal darkness; the ears shall be filled 
with weeping and gnashing of teeth ; 
the smell with stench of fire and 
brimstone ; the taste with the bitter- 
ness of eternal death ; and the feeling 
with a sense of endless tortures and 
miseries. 

VII. THE JOY OP ETERNAL LIFE. 

14. Is it not a very high degree of 
folly, to prefer a short perishing pleas- 
ure to an eternal joy ; and a worthless 
trifle, to the glorious presence of God? 
Now none shall enter into this, but he 
who has thoroughly washed himself, 
and " made white his robes in the 
blood of the Lamb." Eev. 3 : 14. « For 
without are dogs, and sorcerers, and 
whoremongers, and murderers, and 
idolaters, and whosoever loveth and 
maketh a lie." Eev. 22:15. None of 
those, who, having been here invited 
to the feast of Christ, yet refused to 
come, "shall taste of his supper." 
Luke 14 : 24. The highest joy of eter- 
nal life, will consist in " seeing God as 
he is." 1 John 3:2. To see God, is all 
in all, and an eternal reward. "Ye 
shall see me," says our Lord, " and 



Chap. IX.] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



193 



your heart shall rejoice ; and your joy 
no man taketh from you." John 16 : 
19, 22. This sight of the face of God 
is the joy of the angels; it is their 
life, and the invisible food by which 
they are sustained. Now as this 



vision of God creates the most exalted 
joy, so to be banished from it, is to 
suffer the greatest, the most terrible, 
and the most severe torment, and eter- 
nal misery. 



CHAPTER IX. 



SHOWING WHAT REPENTANCE IS, AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THE SINNER TRULY 
REPENTS J ALSO, HOW THE GOODNESS OF GOD LEADS US TO REPENTANCE. 

Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and 
with weeping, and with mourning : and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto 
the Lprd your God : for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and 
repenteth him of the evil. — Joel 2 : 12, 13. 



THE Lord, whose mercy is infinite, 
by no means seeks our destruction, 
but rather our life and happiness. He 
best knows the wretched and deplora- 
ble condition into which we are fallen 
by sin j and he is also desirous to re- 
claim us from that dangerous state, 
and to preserve us from everlasting 
ruin. It is for this reason, that he so 
earnestly invites the soul to repent- 
ance, and engages us to the same by 
many strong and powerful motives. 

2. Sometimes God is pleased to stir 
us up by terrible threatenings. "Be- 
hold," says he, " I will bring evil upon 
this people; because they have not 
hearkened unto my words, nor to my 
law, but rejected it." Jer. 6 : 19. 
Again, "And now, because ye have 
done all these works, saith the Lord, 
and I spake unto you, rising up early 
and speaking, but ye heard not j there- 
fore, will I cast you out of my sight." 
Jer. 7 : 13, 15. This dreadful procla- 
mation of both temporal and eternal 
calamities, should strike fear and ter- 
ror into us : for the threatening of God 



is not an empty voice, nor a sound 
that vanishes into nothing, but it is ac- 
companied with many terrible effects, 
and consuming wrath, as will in its 
time more fully appear, and which we 
even feel already by sad experience; 
since miseries and calamities, like a 
flood, seem to carry all before them. 
Nay, they will undoubtedly multiply 
upon us, and exert themselves with 
the utmost fury and fierceness, except 
we betimes prevent them by a sincere 
repentance. Thus the wrath of God 
shall be poured forth in wars, famines,, 
pestilence, fire, and inundations, till 
he has at length destroyed our very 
foundations, as he did once to the* 
city of Jerusalem. Lam. 4 : 11. 

3. But if the proclamation of wrath 
and judgment cannot prevail upon us,. 
yet ought God's abounding goodness, 
attended as it is with so many endear- 
ing marks of love, to melt our hearts, 
and to soften them into true and 
earnest repentance. For thus hath 
the Lord spoken by the prophet : 
" Eeturn, thou backsliding Israel, and 



13 



194 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book IL 



I will not cause mine anger to fall 
upon you : for I am merciful, saith 
the Lord, and I will not keep anger 
for ever. Only acknowledge thine 
iniquity, that thou hast transgressed 
against the Lord thy God." Jer. 3 : 
12, 13. In these words, God makes a 
free offer of his grace, entreats and 
adjures us to return to him again, for 
he is willing to accept our repentance. 

4. The passages that have been 
quoted, are a convincing proof that 
God, by his grace, mercy, patience, 
and clemency, strongly invites us to 
true repentance. There are chiefly 
three things in those scriptures, which 
deserve a more particular observation : 
namely, the nature of repentance, or 
what it is to repent; that is, to turn 
unto the Lord: — the manner in which 
repentance is to be wrought out; that 
is, by fasting, weeping, and mourn- 
ing: — the motive to engage us in so 
holy an exercise, which is the paternal 
goodness of God ; "for 1 am merciful" 

As to the first, we know that to 
repent, is nothing else but to be led, 
through the law of God, to acknowl- 
edge the natural blindness of our 
hearts, and that detestable impurity 
which lurks within. Next, we ought 
to regard this as the very source 
whence all other sins proceed, and 
whereby we depart from God, the 
supreme and eternal Good, deserving 
not only various punishments here, 
but also his everlasting wrath in hell 
hereafter. All this ought to awaken 
in us sorrow and distress, not so much 
by reason of the threatened punish- 
ment, as rather on account of the 
heinousness of the many provocations 
offered to a merciful Father, who in 
his very nature is love and kindness. 
This being done, we may then raise 
again our souls by virtue of the Gos- 
pel, and with a well-grounded faith, 



rely on the favor of God, and on the 
sure remission of sin promised in 
Christ Jesus. This must necessarily 
be attended with a serious amendment 
of life, with a constant purification of 
the heart by faith, with a mortification 
of all evil desires, and with a sincere 
abnegation of our own will, so oppo- 
site to that of God. In a word, it will 
be accompanied with a new life accept- 
able unto God in Christ, and with fruit 
worthy of repentance ; suitably to what 
God enjoins by the prophet: " Wash 
ye, make you clean; put away the 
evil of your doings from before mine 
eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do 
well. Though your sins be as scarlet, 
they shall be as white as snow." 
Isaiah 1 : 16, 18. 

5. But alas ! here is the difficulty ! 
These things are much more easily 
said, than reduced to practice. The 
reason is, because hardly any will ear- 
nestly engage in so weighty a work, 
or search into the true original cause 
of the many dreadful disorders that 
appear in our lives and conduct. Man 
flatters himself with a confident opin- 
ion of his own goodness, and cherishes 
the affection of the old man. There 
are few who care to see their hearts 
in their inward and native depravity ; 
or to be made sensible of that vein 
of evil nature which runs through all 
their actions, even the best and most 
shining. And thus Christ himself, and 
the grace of God, manifested by him, 
are wantonly disregarded. 

6. And yet Joel (2 : 12) requires us 
to " turn unto God with all our heart, 
with fasting, with weeping, and with 
mourning." Hereby he intimates that 
we are turned away from God ; have 
forsaken the fountain of living waters 
(Jer. 2 : 13) ; and are now unable to 
attain life and happiness again, unless 
we " search our ways," and "return" 



Chap. IX.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



195 



unto him from whom we are gone 
astray. Lam. 3 : 40. It is for this 
purpose that the Prophet charges 
" backsliding children" to return, with 
the promise annexed, that the "Lord 
will heal their backslidings." Jer. 
3 : 22. For this verily is the will of 
God, that we should see and confess 
our misery, in order that he may com- 
passionately heal it. 

7. But since, by nature, we are so 
blind as to be utterly unable of our- 
selves sufficiently to discover our own 
wretchedness ; God has been pleased 
to afford means, with a view to bring- 
ing us to a sound knowledge of our- 
selves. This is done by his holy "Word 
and the Sacraments, which are always 
accompanied with his grace and Spirit. 
By these the Father draws, allures, 
and calls us to himself, as so many 
lost and wandering sheep. John 6 : 44. 
For as a straying sheep cannot of 
itself return, but must of necessity be 
sought and brought back to the fold 
by the shepherd, so we would forever 
go astray in the wilderness of sin and 
error, did not God himself carefully 
seek us; and this the examples of 
Peter and Paul abundantly confirm. 
Therefore the prophet says : " Turn 
thou me, O Lord, and I shall be turned; 
for thou art the Lord my God/' Jer. 
31 : 18. " Heal me, O Lord, and I 
shall be healed ; save me, and I shall 
be saved: for thou art my praise." 
Jer. 17 : 14. " For it is God," says 
the apostle, "which worketh in us, 
both to will and to do, of his good 
pleasure." Phil. 2 : 13. 

8. When, therefore, the Lord gra- 
ciously awakens us by these means, 
and invites us to repentance, it is our 
part, not to withstand his grace and 
Spirit ; (as it is said, " To-day if ye 
will hear his voice, harden not your 
hearts ") (Ps. 95 : 7, 8) ; but to confess 



the sin which he thus reproves in us, 
and by no means make light of the 
grace offered to us in the G-ospel. Then 
God will assuredly have mercy upon 
us, as he himself declares : " Let the 
wicked forsake his way, and the un- 
righteous man his thoughts; and let 
him return unto the Lord, and he will 
have mercy upon him; and to our 
God, for he will abundantly pardon." 
Isa. 55 : 7. 

9. Upon this account the work of 
conversion, though it is entirely a 
work of God's grace, is yet in one re- 
spect ascribed to us; namely, as we 
give up ourselves to the Lord, and to 
his operations, and do not wantonly 
resist his Spirit, despise his grace, and 
cast it from us ; or, as the apostle ex- 
presses it, do not put his "Word from 
us, nor stop our ears against it, as did 
the Jews of old. Acts 13 : 46; 7 : 57. 
On the contrary, when the severity 
of the law has laid open our spiritual 
diseases, and we have felt the bitter- 
ness thereof; let us avail ourselves of 
the Gospel as a healing remedy, and 
suffer our heavenly Physician to re- 
store us to health. 

10. An image of this we have in a 
straying sheep. If it but hear at a 
distance the voice of the shepherd, it 
starts back immediately, and returns 
to him. And how willingly would the 
lost sinner follow the voice of his 
Shepherd, if sin had not so perverted 
him, as to reduce him lower than the 
very beasts in stupidity and dulness ! 
Of this indeed the prophet complains: 
"The ox knoweth his owner, and the 
ass his master's crib : but Israel doth 
not know, my people doth not con- 
sider." Isa. 1:3. "Shall they fall," 
asks another prophet, "and not arise ? 
Shall he turn away, and not return ? 
The stork in the heaven knoweth her 
appointed times, and the turtle, and 



196 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book IL 



the crane, and the swallow, observe 
the times of their coming : but my 
people know not the judgment of the 
Lord/' Jer. 8 : 4, 7. 

11. "We ought, therefore, most fer- 
vently to implore the Lord, not to 
withdraw from us his gracious assist- 
ance, without which we must certainly 
go astray. For since sin and the old 
Adam constantly abide in our corrupt 
flesh and blood, we have need of daily, 
yea, hourly supplies of grace, for re- 
pressing the tyranny of sin, and for 
nourishing the life of God within us. 
The grace of God is the life of our 
soul, as the soul is the life of the body. 
And as the life of the body, without 
the free enjoyment of the air, must 
soon be extinct ; so the vital flame of 
the inward life will speedily languish, 
without a daily supply of grace to sup- 
port it. For this reason Solomon 
prayed : " The Lord our God be with 
us; let him not leave us, nor forsake 
us; that he may incline our hearts 
unto him, to walk in all his ways." 1 
Kings 8 : 57. 

12. This is a lesson which ought not 
to be learned in a light and general 
manner, but by a close and practical 
application be brought home to every 
one in particular. Let, therefore, every 
one look into his own heart and seek 
its renewal, that so all may be re- 
formed in time. Let us remember 
that comfortable exhortation, and the 
promise annexed thereto : " Seek ye 
the Lord while he may be found ; call 
ye upon him while he is near." Isa. 
55 : 6. " And ye shall seek me, and 
find me, when ye shall search for me 
with all your heart, saith the Lord." 
Jer. 29 : 13. 

13. But in order to true repentance, 
it is not enough to refrain only from 
gross sins, and foul visible transgres- 
sions; but the heart, whence all those 



evils proceed, is to be changed and pu- 
rified; that so inward pride, covetous- 
ness, and lust, with all sinful affections, 
may be mortified at last. For whilst 
the heart is unchanged, unreformed, 
and unrenewed; that is, whilst our 
own corrupt temper, our inward mal- 
ice, wrath, hatred, enmity, revenge, 
lying, and deceit, are quietly suffered 
within us; all our boasts of, and pre- 
tences to, and formalities in, religion, 
are but mere show and hypocrisy. 
God requires no less than a new heart, 
and " a new creature in Christ Jesus." 
2 Cor. 5 : 17. No one is so holy, so 
good, and so thoroughly cleansed, but 
he will still find something in his own 
heart to be thrown out, or to be 
amended and rectified. " As a foun- 
tain casteth out her waters, so Jeru- 
salem casteth out her wickedness." 
Jer. 6 : 7. This is the first head, re- 
lating to the nature of repentance, of 
which more has been said in Book I. 

14. Let us now consider, in the 
second place, the manner of our re- 
turning to God: "with all the heart/' 
says the prophet, "with fasting, 
with weeping, and with mourning." 
Wretched mortals can weep floods of 
tears for empty and perishing goods, 
whilst they stand unmoved at the 
miserable state of their souls, and at 
the loss of an eternal and incorrupti- 
ble inheritance ! In this they are 
altogether unlike David, who, by his 
example, sets a most shining pattern 
of sincere and unfeigned repentance 
before us. See Ps. 6, and Ps. 38. " For 
the Lord lboketh on the heart " (1 
Sam. 16:7), and "trieth the heart and 
reins." Ps. 7 : 9. 

15. What the prophet says of fast- 
ing, is to be understood of a general 
fast enjoined by the prophet to all the 
people. In such a fast the whole body 
of a nation were wont to be concerned. 



Chap. IX.] 



TEXTE CHKISTIAJSTITY. 



197 



They publicly confessed their sins; 
they deplored and bewailed them ; 
and thus humbling themselves before 
God, fasted both inwardly and out- 
wardly. And in this order they begged 
remission of sin, and deprecated the 
judgments of God gathering over 
them. Such a general fast and public 
repentance as this, such sincere con- 
version, prayer, faith, confession, and 
supplication, are the most effectual 
means to appease the wrath of an of- 
fended God, and to avert his judgments 
from whole kingdoms and nations. 
This plainly appears from the history 
of the defeat of the other tribes of 
Israel, by that of Benjamin ; in which 
the former having in two battles lost 
forty thousand men, all went up and 
came before the Lord, with weeping 
and mourning, and there fasted the 
whole day, from morning to night. 
Judges 20 : 26. A similar illustrious 
example is recorded of the fast of the 
JSHnevites (Jonah 3 : 5, 10) : and of the 
children of Israel, who, being beaten 
by the Philistines, kept a fast for seven 
days together, after Saul and Jonathan 
were slain in the battle. 1 Chron. 
10 : 12. 

16. Such solemn penitential fasts 
were also in use in the primitive 
Church, when the Christians met to- 
gether, and in any great public calam- 
ity humbled themselves before the 
Lord. Not, surely, to obtain remission 
of sin by such performances, as so 
many meritorious acts of devotion; 
but by a contrite, sober, and humble 
heart, to deprecate the judgments 
that were ready to break in upon 
them. And such fasts might with 
propriety still be observed. 

17. Fasts such as these, accompanied 
with true repentance, would prove an 
impregnable wall and fortification 
against all our enemies; a sovereign 



medicine in all pestilential diseases; 
and a safeguard about all our estates 
and possessions. An example of this 
we have in Job, who, whenever his 
children had spent any day in mirth 
and feasting, "offered up unto God 
prayers and sacrifices for them " (Job 
1:4, 5); and thus, as it were, fortified 
his house by prayer against the insults 
of wicked men and devils. 

18. In great public calamities the 
Lord looks out for such men as may, 
like a bulwark, oppose his wrath when 
ready to make .a breach. " I sought 
for a man among them, that should 
make up the hedge, and stand in the 
gap before me for the land, that I 
should not destroy it: but I found 
none. Therefore have I poured out 
mine indignation upon them, I have 
consumed them with the fire of my 
wrath : their own way have I recom- 
pensed upon their heads, saith the 
Lord God." Ezek. 22 : 30, 31. We 
may also remember, on this occasion, 
the intercession of Abraham. Gen. 
18 : 23. 

19. Thus the prophet Daniel was a 
wall of defence when he made con- 
fession to God of the sins of all the 
people. Dan. 9:4, 5, etc. And the 
prophet Joel, in very moving terms, 
describes such a penitential fast: 
" Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify 
a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather 
the people; sanctify the congregation; 
assemble the elders; gather the chil- 
dren, and those that suck the breasts; 
let the bridegroom go forth of his 
chamber, and the bride out of her 
closet. Let the priests, the ministers 
of the Lord, say, Spare thy people, O 
Lord, and give not thine heritage to 
reproach." Joel 2 : 15-17. 

20. Such public fasts ought to be 
celebrated by the whole multitude, 
without hypocrisy, with ardent zeal 



198 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



and devotion ; for it is the will of God, 
that every one readily confess his 
sins. He requires true humility, sin- 
cere repentance, and a turning to him 
with our w T hole heart. Hence the 
prophet commands the "heart, and 
not the garments," to be rent. The 
Jews, at the hearing of any sad or 
terrible evil, were accustomed to rend 
their clothes, in order to evidence 
thereby the inward sorrow with which 
they were affected. This, however, 
like their fasting, w*as often a mere 
formality, and their grief was only 
pretended. Wherefore, the prophet 
reproves them, saying, "Is it such a 
fast that I have chosen ? a day for a 
man to afflict his soul ? Is it to bow 
down his head as a bulrush, and to 
spread sackcloth and ashes under 
him ? Wilt thou call this a fast, and 
an acceptable day to the Lord ? Is 
not this the fast that I have chosen ? 
to loose the bands of wickedness, to 
undo the heavy burdens, and to let 
the oppressed go free, and that ye 
break every yoke ? Is *it not to deal 
thy bread to the hungry, and that 
thou bring the poor that are cast out 
to thy house ? When thou seest the 
naked, that thou cover him, and that 
thou hide not thyself from thine own 
flesh r Isa. 58 : 5-7. 

21. These words explain the nature 
of a true fast; which is then only kept, 
when, on the one hand, we abstain 
from sin, subdue the wanton lusts of 
the flesh, and keep the old man, with 
all his members, under constant re- 
straint and subjection: and, on the 
other, when we are fervent in works 
of charity, in the practice of patience 
and mercy, and of the other virtues 
springing up from a contrite, sincere, 
and penitent heart. And it is with re- 
gard to these inward acts of humilia- 
tion, that the prophet bids us rend our 



hearts. For as the wounds of the 
heart must necessarily be very pain- 
ful; so the grief occasioned by our 
sins should affect us, as if our very 
hearts were bruised and crushed. And 
this " broken spirit," this " contrite 
heart," is that sacrifice which is so 
highly acceptable to God. Ps. 51 : 17. 
Such a heart has, by faith, obtained a 
due fitness to receive the influence of 
the grace of God, the consolations of 
the Holy Spirit, and the merit and 
blood of Jesus Christ. As a hard and 
massive stone cannot be penetrated 
by the oil or water poured upon it, 
until it be broken to pieces ; so the 
sovereign balm of God's grace and 
consolation cannot comfort and quick- 
en the heart, except it be first broken 
and softened into humility, that so by 
faith it may partake of the merit of 
Christ. " Not the whole, but the sick, 
have need of a physician." Matt. 9 : 
12. Let no one think that he be- 
longs to Christ, unless he has first 
" crucified the flesh, with its affec- 
tions and lusts." Gal. 5 : 24. The 
blood of Christ will be of no profit to 
any except to those who embrace it 
with a contrite, afflicted, penitent, 
humble and believing heart. 

22. As for the motives to repentance, 
which make up the third head, they 
are thus expressed by the prophet : 
" Turn unto the Lord, for he is gra- 
cious and merciful, slow to anger, and 
of great kindness, and repenteth hitn 
of the evil." Joel 2 : 12, 13. He lays 
down in these words, a gradual dis- 
play of the manifold mercies offered 
to returning sinners. As if he had 
said, "If you think it a small thing 
that I am gracious, then know that I 
am merciful also: if this be not enough, 
I am likewise patient and slow to anger; 
if this will not yet suffice, then I am, 
moreover, of great kindness. If, after 



* 



Chap. IX.] 



TEÜE CHRISTIANITY. 



199 



all, you still require something more, 
then understand, that I easily repent 
of intended punishments ; yea, even 
when my avenging hand is lifting up, 
I am ready to let fall the rod, upon 
your serious repentance." 

23. First, then, the prophet calls 
God gracious (Ps. 103 : 8) ; that is, 
ready to be entreated and 'reconciled. 
God is easy to be prevailed with, for- 
gives offences, deals not in strict jus- 
tice and the rigor of the law, accord- 
ing to what we have deserved. And 
all these marks of mercy should lead 
us to repentance. There are many 
admirable promises, all tending to the 
same end. " If thou afflict them, they 
will crj- unto me, and I will surely 
hear; for I am gracious. ,, Ex. 22 : 23, 
27. " Therefore will the Lord wait 
that he may be gracious unto you. 
Thou shalt weep no more; he will be 
very gracious unto thee, at the voice 
of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he 
will answer thee." Isa. 30 : 18. That 
is, the Most High is so rich in grace, 
that he waits for you. In him there 
is expecting grace, by which he readily 
receives those that truly return : pre- 
venient grace, expressed by the Psalm- 
ist — "Let thy tender mercies speedily 
prevent (that is, meet, or anticipate) 
us" (Ps. 79 : 8): protecting grace, no- 
ticed by the same prophet; "He that 
trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall com- 
pass him about " (Ps. 32 : 10) : pre- 
serving grace; "Surely," says David, 
" mercy shall follow me all the days 
of my life." Ps. 23 : 6. Of this we 
have given examples in the preceding 
chapter. With this agree also the 
words of Scripture: "With the Lord 
there is mercy; and with him is plen- 
teous redemption." Ps. 130:7. Where- 
fore, let the divine clemency and 
grace move thee to sincere and un- 
feigned repentance. 



24. Secondly, the prophet declares 
that God is merciful. To be merciful, 
is to be easily moved by the miseries 
of another, and from the very heart 
to compassionate his case. This is to 
be seen in parents, who, not only with 
unfeigned tenderness love their chil- 
dren, but are at the same time so 
deeply touched with their misery and 
weakness, as to be willing even to die 
for them, if that were possible. Thus 
David, when he lamented the death 
of his son Absalom, mournfully ex- 
claimed: "O my son Absalom, my 
son, my son Absalom! would God I 
had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, 
my son!" 2 Sam. 18:33. But these 
bowels of mercy, this ardent, cordial, 
and tender affection, are infinitely 
more conspicuous in God himself, who, 
from an abounding sense of love and 
kindness, has given up his Son to 
death, and thereby transcended all 
the affections of earthly parents. This 
is declared by the prophet : " Can a 
woman forget her sucking child, that 
she should not have compassion on 
the son of her womb ? yea, they may 
forget, yet will I not forget thee." 
Isa. 49:15. And by another, "la 
Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant 
child? for since I spake against him, 
I do earnestly remember him still : 
therefore my bowels are troubled for 
him : I will surely have mercy upon 
him, saith the Lord." Jer. 31 : 20. 
And again by another, " The Lord thy 
God is a merciful God ; he will not for- 
get the covenant of thy fathers, which, 
he sware unto them." Deut. 4 : 31., 
And David confirms it : " The Lord is, 
merciful and gracious." Ps. 103 : 8.. 
And again, calling to mind this mercy,, 
when of three punishments he had it, 
in his power to choose which he. 
pleased, he answered, "Let us fall 
now into the hand of the Lord; for- 



200 



TEUF CHKISTIANTTY. 



[Book II. 



his mercies are great." 2 Sam. 24 : 14. 
"Would to God that his paternal mercy 
might also allure us to unfeigned re- 
pentance! St. Paul himself refers to 
this most powerful inducement, when 
he beseeches us "by the mercies of 
God, etc." Eom. 12 :1. 

25. The third appellation given to 
God by the prophet is, that he is 
patient, or slow to anger. He is not 
easily moved to wrath ; he suffers 
many provocations offered him, and 
gives time for repentance and conver- 
sion. All which he has abundantly 
evidenced by many real demonstra- 
tions, powerful enough to convince us, 
that even in God himself, " Love bear- 
eth all things, endureth all things" 
(1 Cor. 13 : 7), even as parents bear 
with their children. To this purpose 
says St. Peter, " The Lord is long suf- 
fering to usward, not willing that any 
should perish, but that all should 
come to repentance." 2 Pet. 3 : 9. And 
again, "Account that the long-suffer- 
ing of our Lord is salvation." 2 Pet. 
3:15. And Paul wishes, that "the 
goodness of God may lead us to repent- 
ance." Eom. 2:4. To this long-suf- 
fering of God it was entirely due, that 
he granted the old world a hundred 
and twenty years in which to repent ; 
bearing all that time with their pro vo- 



cations, and waiting for 



. repentance. 
And O ! how much time 



Gen. 6 : 3. 
hath he given us to repent in, and to 
work out our salvation ! But this 
divine grace is abused by those who 
only grow more wanton by mercies, 
and "turn even the grace of God itself 
into lasciviousness." Jude, ver. 4. But 
by this they only hasten their ruin, 
and render more grievous the punish- 
•ment which they deserve. If one, 
,and then another of these many and 
provoking affronts, with which men 
offend an omnipotent God, were daily 



put upon a mere mortal, nothing cer- 
tainly could be expected but the ut- 
most severity of his resentment. Hoav 
inconceivably great then must be the 
patience of God, who not only pardons 
offences so numerous and so heinous, 
but also returns all manner of kind- 
ness to the offender himself. O ! that 
the inconceivable patience of the Lord 
might inspire us with a hatred of sin, 
and lead us all to repentance ! 

26. Fourthly, God is represented to 
be of great kindness; so great indeed, 
that no sin, how great soever, can 
surpass it. For as God is essentially 
and wholly good, so is he desirous to 
communicate himself wholly to men, 
provided they be willing to receive 
and admit him. Yea, by his nature 
he can be and do nothing but good. 
He takes a pleasure therein, and "re- 
joiceth over us to do us good." Jer. 
32 : 41. His mercy is as great as him- 
self, that is, infinite. It extends to 
all mankind. " Thy mercy, O Lord, 
is in the heavens." Ps. 36 : 5. " As the 
heaven is high above the earth, so 
great is his mercy toward them that 
fear him." Ps. 103 : 11. And we read 
in the Lamentations: "It is of the 
Lord's mercies that we are not con- 
sumed, because his compassions fail 
not: they are new every morning: 
great is thy faithfulness." Lam. 3 : 22. 
See, therefore, O man! that a good- 
ness so inexpressible be no longer 
abused, but that it animate thee to 
sincere repentance. 

27. And lastly, the prophet says of 
the Lord, " It repenteth him of the evil." 
This is as if he would say : " It is the 
nature of God, to punish with reluc- 
tance ; and when he is even con- 
strained thereto, it is not for our de- 
struction, but salvation, that we be 
not "condemned with the world." 1 
Cor. 11:32. He then doth "his strange 



Chap. X] 



TKUE CHKISTIANItTY. 



201 



work " (of punishment), that he may 
bring to pass his own work (of mercy). 
Isa. 28 : 21. Thus he repented of the 
evil he had designed against Nineveh. 
Jonah 3 : 10. And, therefore, " it is 
good, that a man should both hope, 
and quietly wait for the salvation of 
the Lord. For the Lord will not cast 
off for ever : but though he cause grief, 
yet will he have compassion according 
to the multitude of his mercies. For 
he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve 
the children of men." Lam. 3 : 26, 31- 
33. Therefore, repent of thy sins. 

28. For as soon as thou repentest of 
sin, and supplicatest the Lord in true 
faith, God will also repent of the pun- 



ishment he intended to inflict. The 
words of the Lord to Jonah are very 
memorable : " Doest thou well to be 
angry for the gourd? Thou hast had 
pity on the gourd, for the which thou 
hast not labored, neither madest it 
grow, which came up in a night, and 
perished in a night: and should not I 
spare Nineveh, that great city, where- 
in are more than six score thousand 
persons?" Jonah 4:9-11. This bound- 
less mercy is still the same even at 
this day, and will continue so forever 
to penitent and returning sinners. Go, 
therefore, O man, and let this over- 
flowing mercy of God lead thee to re- 
pentance ! 



CHAPTER X. 



THE FOUR PROPERTIES OF TRUE REPENTANCE. 



1 have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, because of thine indignation 
and thy wrath : for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. My days are like a shadow 
that declineth; and lam withered like grass. But thou, Lord, shalt endure for ever, and 
thy remembrance unto all generations. — Ps. 102 : 9, etc. 



IN these words four properties of true 
repentance are enjoined on a sin- 
ner. The first is, to account himself un- 
worthy of all the mercies of God. This 
is contained in these words: "I have 
eaten ashes like bread, and mingled 
my drink with weeping:" that is, 
There is nothing I. can take any more 
delight in, and I account myself un- 
worthy of any good or delicious fare. 
This, however pleasing it may be to 
the palate of others, is not more 
savory to me than mere ashes. — The 
same regard to our own unworthiness 
is thus inculcated by the Lord: "If 
any man will come after me, let him 



deny himself, and take up his cross 
daily, and follow me." Luke 9 : 23. 
And, "If any man come to me, and 
hate not his own life, he cannot be 
my disciple." Luke 14 : 26. Herein is 
expressed a threefold reference which 
a true Christian ought to have to his 
own unworthiness. 

2. (a) First then, he is commanded 
to deny himself: that is, to die to self- 
will, to self-love, and self-honor, es- 
teeming himself utterly unworthy of 
any of the benefits conferred by God 
on other men ; or judging himself 
not " worthy of the least of all the 
mercies" of God (Gen. 32 : 10); and 



202 



TKUE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



reputing himself the most inconsider- 
able, not only of all men, but even of 
all other creatures; after the words 
of the Psalm : " I am a worm, and no 
man." Ps. 22 : 6. In this manner, for 
a man to despise himself, is truly to 
deny himself. 

3. (b) He is commanded, secondly, to 
hate himself; that is, to condemn in 
himself whatever is pleasing and ac- 
ceptable to the flesh; as honor, lux- 
ury, revenge, anger, avarice,- and what- 
ever else savors of the flesh. He is to 
crucify the flesh with its affections 
and lusts, and to abhor in himself its 
whole offspring, as the work of the 
devil himself, tending only to increase 
and nourish the perverse seed of orig- 
inal depravity. And such self-abhor- 
rence in a sinner, will then of neces- 
sity be followed by pleading guilty, 
and by looking upon himself as one 
worthy of eternal death. 

4. (c) The third lesson enjoined in 
these words, consists in taking up the 
cross, and in following the Lord: that 
is, that Ave, not with a morose and dis- 
contented, but with a ready mind, 
bear all manner of sufferings, and 
deem ourselves worthy, not only of 
these, but even of far more grievous 
afflictions. Thus Christ himself, whose 
example is set before us, "endured the 
cross, and despised the shame " (Heb. 
12 : 2), thereby teaching us, that in 
"quietness and confidence shall be our 
strength." Isa. 30: 15. And all that is 
comprehended in the imitation of, or 
following after, Christ. 

5. Upon the whole, these things 
make it appear, that a soul truly hum- 
ble and penitent, thinks itself unwor- 
thy of all divine benefits, and even of 
daily food and refreshment. And this 
accords with the example of Christ 
himself, who, parched with thirst on 
the cross, and having vinegar given 



him mixed with gall, said no more, 
than, "It is finished." John 19:3). 
This was the reason also, that the 
true penitents under the old law 
judged themselves entirely unworthy 
of any good thing. They put sack- 
cloth on their bodies, and sat in ashes. 
They satisfied their hunger with bread 
taken from the ashes, and quenched 
their thirst with water mingled with 
tears ; as a testimony that they did 
not deserve any cleaner or better food, 
but merited rather to eat and to drink 
with their food, the very tears that 
trickled upon it. 

6. Now the cause of this great self- 
abasement, was that profound sense 
with which they were affected, that, 
on account of their sin, they deserved 
an eternal curse and condemnation. 
This consideration lays the returning 
sinner very low. He deems himself 
utterly unworthy even of the least of 
the benefits of God. An illustration 
of this we have in Mephibosheth, the 
son of Jonathan. When David was 
raised to the royal dignity, he called 
to mind the kindness of his friend 
Jonathan, who formerly had delivered 
him out of the hand of his father 
Saul ; and commanding search to be 
made, whether there remained any of 
Jonathan's family, to whom he might 
make a suitable return of thanks; he 
at last found Mephibosheth, a lame 
and poor man, who, being ordered by 
David to eat bread at the king's table, 
bowed himself, and exclaimed : " What 
is thy servant, that thou shouldest 
look upon such a dead dog as I am V 
2 Sam. 9 : 8. This is a pattern, in- 
deed, of a soul truly contrite in spirit 
and penitent in heart, and, therefore, 
sensible of both its own unworthiness, 
and of all the mercies bestowed on it 
by the Lord. And truly we may, 
with far greater reason, make use of 



Chap. X.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



203 



the same humble speech, whenever 
the Lord our God vouchsafes to us, as 
it were, the food of his own table, and 
in the Holy Supper gives us his body 
and blood to eat and drink. 

7. In like manner does the Prodigal 
Son, after his repentance, express his 
sorrowful mind to his Father: "Fath- 
er," says he, " I am no more worthy 
to be called thy son ; make me as one 
of thy hired servants." Luke 15 : 19. 
The woman of Canaan was even con- 
tent to be called a dog, if she were 
but permitted to "eat of the crumbs 
falling from the master's table." Matt. 
15 : 27. Peter says to the Lord : " De- 
part from me, for I am a sinful man !" 
(Luke 5:8); that is, I am not worthy 
that thou shouldest have any further 
converse with me. And the centurion 
of Capernaum was of the same mind: 
" Lord," says he, " I am not worthy 
that thou shouldest come under my 
roof." Matt. 8:8. So also St. Paul 
professes himself to be " not meet to 
be called an apostle " (1 Cor. 15:9): 
and declares, that he "counted not 
his life dear unto him, so that he 
might finish his course with joy." 
Acts 20 : 24. This inward sense of 
self-abasement David expresses when 
he speaks of "eating ashes like bread, 
and mingling his drink with weep- 
ing." If the heart of a Christian be 
brought to a sense of this vileness, 
then it is truly contrite and humble, 
and fit to be made a living sacrifice 
unto the Lord. Ps. 51 : 19. 

8. A second property of true re- 
pentance, is, to grieve at nothing so 
much as at the offences offered to God 
himself. This is intimated in these 
words : " Because of thine indigna- 
tion and thy wrath, for thou hast 
lifted me up, and cast me down." 
That is, Of all my other miseries and 
griefs, the greatest and most insup- 



portable, is the sense I have of my 
having so heinously offended the in- 
finitely good, holy, and righteous God. 
9. Since God is nothing but love, 
grace, righteousness, goodness, and 
mercy, yea, the original source of all 
virtue, He must of necessity be of- 
fended with every sin committed by 
men ; since the nature of sin is directly 
opposite to the nature of God. Thus 
by injustice, the justice of God is of- 
fended, he being justice itself. By ly- 
ing, the truth of God is offended, he 
being truth itself. By hatred the love 
of God is offended, he being love itself. 
In a word, since God is the perfection 
of all virtue, goodness, and love, it can 
be no other than diabolical malice to 
offend such infinite goodness, such im- 
mense love, nay, Love itself. Had he 
at any time injured us, it might be no 
such great wonder, if we hated him, 
and offended him in our turn : but 
now, that he gives us nothing but what 
is good — soul, body, and life itself; 
that he feeds and clothes us; that he 
heals our body when it is sick ; yea, 
pardons our sins when we pour out to 
him our souls ; is ready to receive us 
into favor, as often as we return ; now 
that he has given us his only Son with 
the Holy Spirit, yea, and Himself too, 
and adopted us into the number of his 
children : and having done all this for 
men, to be yet offended, opposed, and 
hated by them, is a madness, a malice 
altogether unaccountable and mon- 
strous. Would it not be most wicked 
and impious to kill him who gave thee 
life; to beat and wound him, who 
kindly embraced and cherished thee 
in his bosom; to insult and affront 
him, who heaped honors and dignities 
upon thee; and to disown and reject 
him, who had chosen thee for his son ? 
But all these, and far greater indigni- 
ties, thou offerest to thy heavenly Fa- 



204 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



ther, to the supreme, the righteous, 
the holy God, whom angels adore and 
fear, and whom seraphim worship with 
the acclamations of "Holy, holy, holy 
is the Lord of hosts ; the whole earth 
is fulfof his glory!" Isa. 6:3. And 
thou, who art but dust and ashes, art 
not afraid to offend him ! If a peni- 
tent man earnestly calls to mind this 
monstrous sin, it is impossible but he 
must be affected with the keenest sor- 
row of heart, and feel the smart of his 
wounded conscience to equal and even 
exceed that of a wounded body. And 
there is all the reason in the world 
why it should be so. For hence must 
necessarily arise a dread and terror, 
inwardly threatening the conscience 
with wrath and judgment, and out- 
wardly setting before it the approach 
of temporal calamities : whence a man, 
even as Job complains (ch. 6 : 1, etc.), 
finds no rest, takes no delight in any- 
thing, loathing even his meat and 
drink. These terrible pangs of con- 
science are described by David : 
" Thine arrows," says he, " stick fast 
in me : and thy hand presseth me 
6ore." Ps. 38 : 2. For as a wound 
grievously smarts and grows worse 
whilst the arrow remains fixed in it; 
so also it is with the conscience, whilst 
the sting of sin and judgment is. not 
taken away. And these lashes and 
clamors proceed from nothing but the 
sentence of divine justice proclaimed 
in the conscience, and the terrors of 
hell and death attending it. Therefore, 
David exclaims, " Thou hast lifted me 
up, and cast me down :" like one 
thrown down from a lofty rock into a 
low valley, who is so bruised and maim- 
ed, that not one sound limb remains. 

10. But how terrible soever the fear 
of the judgments of God may prove to 
an awakened conscience, yet is there 
some ground of comfort; since the 



prophet tells us, that these arrows, 
these threats, these terrors, are the 
arrows and terrors of God himself. 
And it is God, who having thereby 
wounded and broken the heart, heals 
and restores it again. It is he that 
killeth, and it is He that maketh 
alive; He boweth down, and He rais- 
eth again (Ps. 146 : 8) ; He bringeth 
down to the grave, and He bringeth 
up again. 1 Sam. 2 : 6. 

11. Whosoever, therefore, accounts 
and feels nothing to be more bitter 
and grievous, than to have offended 
God, the infinite Good, and Love it- 
self; he only has experimentally learn- 
ed the doctrine of contrition, and laid 
a firm foundation for sound and gen- 
uine godliness. This was one of Da- 
vid's acts of repentance: "Against 
thee," says he, " Thee only, have I 
sinned." Ps. 51 : 4. As if he had said, 
" This is my anguish and sorrow, that 
I have offended thee."' And Daniel 
thus expresses himself : " Lord, right- 
eousness belongeth unto thee, but unto 
us, confusion of face," because we have 
offended so righteous a God. Dan. 
9: 7. 

12. The third property of repent- 
ance is contained in these words : 
"My days are like a shadow that 
declineth; and I am withered like 
grass." That is, a heart truly peni- 
tent, is deeply sensible of its own 
weakness. It entirely despairs of its 
own strength and ability, knowing 
itself to be as destitute of life and 
power, as the very shadow; and as 
empty of spirit and moisture, as the 
grass that fadeth away. The same 
is affirmed in another Psalm : " Be- 
hold, thou hast made my days as a 
handbreadth, and mine age is as noth- 
ing before thee : verily, every man at 
his best state is altogether vanity.'' 
Ps. 39 : 5. 



Chap. X] 



TßUE CHEISTIANITY. 



205 



13. 0! how noble a step would it 
be toward the attainment of substan- 
tial wisdom, were man but sensible of 
his own nothingness! Man is noth- 
ing, as a shadow is nothing. As a 
shadow is without life, and without 
substance of itself, and vanishes at 
the departure of the sun ; so is the 
condition of man, whenever the Lord 
withdraws the light of life from him ! 
And it is worthy of observation that, 
the nearer the sun is, the less are the 
shadows observed to be; and on the 
contrary, the farther the sun removes 
from us, the larger the shadows appear. 
The same happens to man : the more 
of God and his gifts is present with a 
good man, the less he esteems himself, 
the less he boasts of himself, and of 
what he calls his. On the contrary, 
the farther a man is removed from 
God, the greater he is in his own eyes ; 
the more he is puffed up with his parts 
and abilities, the more he extends the 
bounds of his pride, and the less he 
knows how to keep within proper 
compass. Again, as shadows at the 
setting of the sun are greatest, though 
then just ready to disappear and van- 
ish away ; their greatness being but a 
forerunner of their approaching end; 
so it is with the shadows of this world, 
and the whole train of vain pomps and 
pleasures. They pass away suddenly 
when we are most lifted up by them. 
As the shadows vanish upon the with- 
drawing of the sun ; so when an empty 
man becomes great in his own eyes, 
the divine sun sets upon him unex- 
pectedly, and he returns to be nothing, 
even when he thought to be something. 
Moreover, as the shadow has no life 
of itself, but entirely moves with the 
motion of the sun, upon which it de- 
pends: so man of his own nature, is 
nothing but a body destitute of life 
and motion ; and it is God alone who 



is able to put life and motion in it. 
The shadow of a tall and goodly tree 
moves not, except as the tree itself is 
moved ; so man only liveth and moveth 
in God (Acts IT : 28), of whom he is a 
shadow and reflected image. The hour 
of death will at length fully declare, 
that man's " days on the earth are as 
a shadow " (1 Chron. 29 : 15 ; Job 8 : 9), 
as a vain shew or image (Ps. 39 : 5) ; 
nay, as grass which grows up, but soon 
withereth when it is mown down : so 
fades our life away immediately, when 
it is cut down by the fatal scythe of 
death. Ps. 102: 3, 11; Ps. 103: 15. Lo! 
thus are our days consumed like smoke, 
and we are " gone like the shadow when 
it declineth." Ps. 109 : 23. 

11. Now when a man by true humil- 
ity is thoroughly persuaded of all this, 
and is convinced that he is nothing in 
the sight of God but a lifeless shadow, 
then, verily, his repentance is un- 
feigned, and his heart right before the 
Lord. And as it is appointed unto all 
men once to undergo a natural death, 
so ought all daily to die unto sin, that 
they may live unto God, and depart 
happily out of this mortal life, when 
all the shadows disappear. This daily 
dying to the world, as it is the best 
exercise, so it is also the best prepara- 
tion for the hour of death ; and if we 
earnestly practise the former, we shall 
then be fitted for undergoing the lat- 
ter. That which we most frequently 
practise, becomes most perfect to us. 

15. The fourth property of true re- 
pentance, is union with God, implied in 
these words : But thou, O Lord, shalt 
endure forever, and thy remembrance unto 
all generations. As if the prophet had 
said : " Though I am persuaded, that 
I am a perishing shadow, and wither 
like grass (Ps. 102 : 11), yet 1 am no 
less certain, that in thee I shall abide 
forever; for thou thyself art eternal." 



206 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



As by sin a man is divorced from God, 
so by true conversion, he is again 
united to him. Even as the Person 
of Christ is indivisible, and as the 
eternal Deity united the human nature 
in Christ Jesus with itself in so firm 
a bond, as is not to be dissolved by 
death itself (the humanity of Christ 
remaining in perpetual union with the 
Divinity, and with the glory therein 
residing) : so, in the work of true con- 
version to God, penitent and believing 
souls are so closely and intimately 
united to God, that neither life nor 
death can separate them from him 
(Eom. 8 : 38) : for " he that is joined 
to the Lord, is one spirit " (1 Cor. 6 : 
17), God betrothing us unto himself 
forever. Hosea 2: 19. In a word, Christ 
himself is our only Witness; and he is 



the Book of Life wherein we are 
plainly taught, that as his human na- 
ture abides eternally united with the 
divine, so all believers shall be eter- 
nally united with their Lord and 
Head, being one spirit with him. Now, 
as God is eternal, and Christ eternal; 
so the promises of God in Christ are 
also eternal and inviolable, he having 
made with us a covenant of everlast- 
ing grace. Ps. Ill : 5. Therefore, 
though a true Christian be forsaken 
of the world; be vexed and tormented 
by sin, death, hell, and the devil him- 
self;* nay, though even his own flesh 
and heart fail at last, and be wholly 
consumed, yet is God "the strength 
of his heart, and his portion for ever." 
Ps. 73 : 26. 



CHAPTER XL 



SHOWING THAT THE FRUIT OF CONVERSION IS THE NEW CREATURE; ALSO, THAT 
THE CHRISTIAN IS, BY FAITH, A LORD OVER ALL, AND, BY LOVE, A SERVANT 
OF ALL; AND, THAT THE LIFE OF CHRIST IS A MIRROR FOR US. 

If any man be in Christy he is a new creature. — 2 Cor. 5:17. 



ALL that are in Christ by faith, 
are "new creatures;" that is, 
they are the children of God, are 
righteous before God, have forgive- 
ness of sin, and the Holy Ghost ; they 
are partakers of the divine nature (2 
Peter 1 : 4), are heirs of everlasting 
life, and are liberated in their con- 
sciences from the law, the curse, 
death, the devil, hell, and damnation. 
All, whatever appertains to their sal- 
vation, is in them begotten of Christ 
by grace, and is conceived by them 
through faith; hence, neither time 



nor place, neither law, nor command- 
ment, nor ceremonies, nor anything 
whatsoever, can be any hindrance to 
them. They are made perfect in 
Christ, who is now become a vital 
principle in them, and they have in 
him the accomplishment of the law 
through faith. Eom. 10 : 4. 

2. Thence the name of a Christian 
is a higher and more excellent name 
than all the names in the world. It 
is a greater name than is to be found 
in palaces and courts, a name above 
all posts of greatness, above the whole 



Chap. XII.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



207 



world, with all that it contains. But, 
on the other hand, the name of a 
Christian is also the lowest name of 
all the names in the world, without 
exception. Thus, in the same degree, 
faith exalts a Christian above all ; love 
brings down a Christian under all. 
This thou wilt then best understand, 
when thou seriously considerest the 
holy life of Christ ; which is the bright- 
est mirror both of love, and of all other 
virtues. See Phil. 2 : 5-8. 

3. Behold how Christ made himself 
the servant of all ! how humble was 
he in heart! how meek in spirit ! how 
kind and gracious in words! how be- 
nevolent in his behavior! how merci- 
ful towards the poor! how compas- 
sionate towards the distressed ! how 
patient towards his slanderers! how 
calm in his answers ! how merciful 
towards sinners! Whom did he ever 
despise? whom did he ever revile, be- 
ing reviled? How condescending was 
he to the very meanest ! how ready 
to show acts of grace to all, without 
distinction ! how heartily did he seek 
the salvation of all men, praying 
for his very enemies and murderers! 
Luke 23 : 34. How did he bear our 



sickness, sorrows, reproaches, stripes, 
wounds, and punishments! And in- 
deed, what else is the life of Christ, 
but a most accomplished pattern of 
love, humility, patience, and all other 
virtues whatsoever ! This we ought 
to look into, and to reflect upon it in 
our hearts; but especially when we 
are alone. This is better than all the 
'high boasts of knowledge, and all the 
art and wisdom of the world. This 
life of Christ is like a seal (Cant. 8 : 6) 
to be stamped upon our hearts, and 
leave there the impression of his image, 
life, love, humility, patience, cross, re- 
proach, and death. This would prove 
a true celestial light to our hearts, and 
a powerful means both to renew us 
in the inner man, and to transform us 
more and more into the divine image. 
Now as Christ was under all men, yea, 
under all creatures, in his state of hu- 
miliation in this world ; but is now in 
his state of exaltation, a Lord over all : 
so a Christian is, with reference to his 
faith, a lord over all, nothing being 
excepted but God ; but with regard to 
his life and conduct, a servant of ser- 
vants, being under all persons and. 
things. 



CHAPTER XII. 



SHOWING THAT CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY AND END OP TRUE GODLINESS; AND 
THAT MAN GOES ASTRAY, WHEN GOD DOES NOT GUIDE AND DIRECT HIM. 



Teach me thy way, Lord: I will ivalk in thy truth; unite my heart to fear thy name. — Ps. 86 : 11. 



THIS way is Christ. He says, " I 
am the way." John 14 : 6. But 
thou wilt here ask, How am I to come 
to him ? The answer is : By faith. 
For faith unites us with Christ ; love 



binds us fast; and hope upholds and 
sustains us while we walk in this way ; 
that is, in the life of Christ. Yet at 
the same time, faith, hope, and love, 
all proceed from Christ himself, and 



208 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book IL 



are his work in us. All these graces 
flow from him, and return to him. 
This way goes out from him, and 
leads back to him again. 

2. Faith apprehends the Person of 
Christ, and his office; Love follows 
Christ in his life and conversation; 
Hope seizes on the glory that is here- 
after to be revealed in Christ. Faith 
must have no other Christ, no other 
Redeemer, no other Saviour, no other 
Mediator and Way to life, but Jesus 
Christ only. Love sets before itself 
the one only life of Christ, as the most 
perfect and shining pattern to which 
to conform itself. Hope looks up 
steadfastly to Christ, as the glorious 
Captain of our salvation, keeping its 
eye fixed upon his everlasting king 
dorn above. This, this is the right 
way ; this is the unerring truth, where- 
in we are to walk ; and this is what 
is meant by having the heart united, to 
fear the Lord's name. 

3. These three chief virtues are 
allied again to three other virtues. 
The alliance of faith, is with humility; 
of love, with patience; and of hope, 
with prayer. For he that believeth, 
humbleth himself; he that loveth, is 
patient; and he that hopeth, learns to 
pray, and boldly to approach the 
throne of grace. O how goodly and 
beautiful is this way! This is the 
way of God, the way of salvation, the 
path to glory, even our great Master's 
way ! And may He himself teach us 
this way of truth, and inspire us with 
courage to walk in it! Where this 
frame of mind is, there the soul is 
firmly united to the fear of the Lord; 
and this is that one thing which David 
desired. Ps. 27 : 4. Such a one is re- 
solved heartily to follow Christ in his 
humility and love, meekness and pa- 



tience, expelling, through the lowli- 
ness of Christ, the venom of pride that 
lurks within. Consider how Christ 
thy Lord was made for thee a despica- 
ble worm (Ps. 22 : 6), and trampled 
upon by the basest of men ! and by 
looking to him, learn to restrain thy 
haughty temper. In a word, let his 
humility slay thy pride; and do thou 
suppress the assaults of covetousness, 
by meditating on the poverty of Christ. 
Behold, he had not so much as even 
where to lay his head (Matt. 8 : 20), 
and how eager art thou to grasp in 
possession whatever thy unbounded 
desires fix themselves upon ! Let the 
spirit of envy die, by the consideration 
of the overflowing love of Christ. He 
hath given thee life itself, and thou 
grudgest thy neighbor even a morsel 
of bread. Let the thirst for revenge be 
overcome in thy breast by the meek- 
ness of Christ. Behold 1 he prayed 
for his enemies (Luke 23 : 34) ; and 
thou dost not even pray for thy 
friends. His face being buffeted and 
spit upon by sinners, he quietly en- 
dured it; and thou canst hardly en- 
dure a severe »look, or an unkind word 
from thy neighbor ! Let the entice- 
ments to lust and voluptuousness be 
beaten down, by the agony and pains 
which thy Lord suffered in his holy 
body. Behold, and see, whether the 
sorrows of any man were ever like 
unto his sorrows ! Lam. 1 : 12. This 
consideration will prove a check to 
the wanton lusts of thy flesh, and a 
curb to thy thirst after worldly pleas- 
ure. He wore a crown of thorns ; and 
wouldest thou wear one of gold? He 
wept for the sins of others; and refus- 
est thou to weep for thine own ? He 
was a man of sorrows; and shouldest 
thou wish to be a man of pleasure? 






Chap. XIII.] 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



209 



CHAPTER XIII. 

SHOWING THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE TRUE BOOK OF LIFE, AND THAT HIS 
POVERTY TEACHES US TO DESPISE THE GLORY OF THE WORLD. 

Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became 
poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. — 2 Cor. 8 : 9. 



ALL who believe in Jesus Christ, 
the Son of God, are written " in 
the book of life " (Phil. 4 : 3), or as 
the Lord expresses it, " in heaven." 
Luke 10:20. This shall be made man- 
ifest in that great day, when the Lord 
will " confess their names before his 
Father, and before his angels." Rev. 
3:5. But besides this, the Lord Jesus 
himself is a most complete Book of a 
truly Christian life : he being, as the 
word and wisdom of the Father, made 
man, and come into the world to teach 
us by his life and death; and by his 
conduct and conversation, to set a 
pattern before us for our imitation. 

2. The whole of his life, from his 
tender infancy to his death, was made 
up of nothing but a continual series 
of crosses and afflictions; insomuch 
that he took hardly any step without 
the inseparable attendance either of 
a pressing poverty, or of great con- 
tempt, or of most exquisite pains and 
sufferings : and into these three heads 
the entire extent of the life of Christ 
may be fitly resolved. 

3. The poverty which the Lord en- 
dured, may be considered again under 
a threefold aspect. In the first place, 
he was poor in relation to outward 
things. This he himself declared : 
"The foxes," says he, "have holes, and 
the birds of the air have nests; but 
the Son of Man hath not where to 
lay his head." Matt. 8 : 20. 

4. This indigence in worldly goods 
was attended by another, which was 



a poverty of friends. Nothing was 
more visible in his birth than mean- 
ness and poverty. He was born at 
Bethlehem, the least among the cities 
of Judah, and of a mother that was 
destitute of all wealth and worldly 
greatness. Luke 2:4,7. Nor did he 
ever court the favor and friendship of 
the great and wealthy of this world. 
It is true, that Lazarus of Bethany 
was his friend, the Evangelist taking 
particular notice, that the Lord loved 
him, and thought him worthy of the 
title of his friend (John 11 : 3, 5, 11, 36); 
but this friendship was not founded 
on any worldly advantage which the 
Lord expected from him, but on that 
faith, whereby he was induced to be- 
lieve, that Jesus was really the true 
Messiah. 

5. The third degree of the Lord's 
poverty, was the state of his humilia- 
tion, whereby, laying aside the form 
of God, he humbled himself, and made 
himself of no reputation. Phil. 2 : 6, 7~ 
He thereby entered into the depth of 
our misery. He was wearied in the 
journeys he undertook, when he 
" went about doing good " (Acts 10 :. 
38); but particularly, when he healed 
multitudes of sick and diseased, that 
continually crowded to him from all 
parts, and surrounded him often to 
that degree, that he could not so 
much as eat bread, and even his very 
friends thought him beside himself. 
Mark 3 : 20, 21. He fulfilled also 
what was said by the prophet, and is 



14 



210 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



repeated in the Gospel : " Himself 
took our infirmities, and bare our sick- 
nesses " (Isa. 53 : 4; Matt. 8:17); never 
withdrawing from any hardship or ap- 
proaching calamity, never shrinking 
under the burden of poverty, or cruel 
mockings, or unjust reproaches, or 
other evils, though they were sharp 
and numerous. And whereas he 
might have been served by all the 
creatures of God, and waited on by 
legions of angels, yet he dispensed 
with all this glory, and did not exert 
that sovereign power which he pos- 
sessed. He suffered his head to be 
torn by thorns, his hands to be bound, 
his sacred body to be scourged, his 
hands and feet to be nailed to the 
cross, his side to be pierced with a 
spear. All this he freely allowed, 
though it was in his power to prevent 
it, and with one word to restrain all 
creatures from inflicting an injury on 
him. 

6. In a word, for our sakes, he made 
himself subject to all creatures. He 
took upon him the form of a servant, 
that by his lowliness, he might repair 
our losses, and reinstate us in that 
sovereign dominion over all the crea- 
tures, which we had lost. He rose 
from the dead again, and gained a per- 
fect conquest at last, thereby to pur- 
chase for us an everlasting victory. 
He suffered himself to be tempted by 
the devil (Matt. 4:1, 8), hurried about 
by his malice, tormented by his instru- 
ments, the Jews, fastened to the cross 
by their cruelty j and all this he un- 
derwent, in order to rescue mankind 
from the power of the devil and all 
his subordinate tools and agents. 

7. Thus the Strongest became weak; 
the Almighty infirm ; the most Glori- 
ous, became most despicable ; the most 
Beautiful, most abhorred and hated; 
the most Exalted, most exposed him- 



self to temptations of all kinds, to suf- 
ferings and difficulties, to pains and 
hardships. Hereby he designed to 
check and put to shame our sinful 
tenderness and effeminacy. We are, 
alas ! so tender and delicate that the 
smallest cross is now complained of 
as an insufferable burden, and a little 
trouble and toil undergone for the 
sake of God and our neighbor, seems 
a sufficient plea why men should start 
back into the smooth way, and forsake 
the Lord; whereas he sends such 
trials upon men for the purpose of 
promoting thereby the recovery of 
their own souls, and the glory of his 
name. 

8. Thus the Lord laid aside for a 
while the form of God. But this was 
not all. He did no less lay aside the 
use of the divine wisdom which re- 
sided in him. His conversation with 
others was plain and easy; and he 
behaved himself like a man who had 
not learned letters, as the Jews ex- 
pressed it. John 7 : 15. He did not 
assume to himself the wonted formali- 
ties of a great doctor, or of an acute 
reasoner and disputer. Neither did he 
act like men that value themselves on 
account of their parts, skill, polite 
learning, and high descent. Nothing 
was more visible in his life and con- 
duct than that quiet serenity of mind 
which he enjoyed in the midst of ail 
the storms of the world. This was 
attended, however, by a divine power, 
an unaffected holiness of manners, an 
unfeigned charity, meekness, and hu- 
mility. He made use of plain and 
easy terms when he " taught the way 
of God in truth " (Matt. 22 : 16) ; there- 
fore he was despised by the proud 
Jews as an unlearned man. Thus the 
eternal wisdom of God, speaking 
through the prophets of old, was cast 
aside as folly, and the true light of 



Chap. XIII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



211 



souls rejected as deception : all which 
may serve to instruct us not to over- 
value ourselves upon our parts and 
abilities ; but to consider that they are 
not given us for the gratification of 
pride; and to employ them solely for 
advancing the glory of God, and the 
good of our fellow-creatures. 

9. This simplicity of our Lord was 
manifested herein also, that he made 
no display of his glory and majesty. 
So great was his condescension, that 
he freely conversed with sinners. He 
did eat and drink with them ; and this 
for no other reason, but to complete 
thereby the great work for which he 
was sent, which was, to " seek and to 
save that which was lost." Luke 19 : 
10. It was on this account that he 
was so grievously defamed with a mul- 
titude of odious names by his enemies, 
who called him " a gluttonous man, a 
wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and 
sinners" (Luke 7:34) : and at another 
time, they exclaimed against him as a 
Samaritan, that had a devil. John 8 : 
48. And, at last, he suffered them to 
crucify him between two malefactors, 
as if he were the greatest criminal, 
whereas he then bore our transgres- 
sions. 

10. Now he might have gained a 
greater repute than John himself, 
who, according to the Lord's own tes- 
timony, was a " burning and a shining 
light." John 5 : 35. But he readily re- 
nounced any such honor, thereby to 
give a check to all superficial pretend- 
ers to piety, who are too apt to value 
themselves on account of an outward 
show of religion : though those that 
busy themselves so much about form 
and appearance, may have but little 
of the life and power of God within 
them. 

11. In short, the Lord forsook all 
that is lofty and grand in the world. 



He was a king, and yet would be sub- 
ject to kings and magistrates, nay, to 
Joseph and his mother, though they 
were so mean and indigent. "He 
went down with them to Nazareth, 
and was subject unto them." Luke 
2 : 51. He was Lord over all, and 
yet when he came into the world, 
" He came not to be ministered unto, 
but to minister" (Matt. 20 : 28), cloth- 
ing himself in the attire of poverty 
and meanness. He was the great and 
wise Prophet, and chose disciples 
of the lowest rank, plain and simple 
people. And when it was in his power 
to behave himself as a Lord and Mas- 
ter in the small company of his follow- 
ers, yet did he even there divest him- 
self of that right, being " among them 
as one that serveth." Luke 22 : 27. 
He assumed no lordlike air over them, 
but chose rather to be a master in life 
and doctrine, than to have any other 
distinguishing character of grandeur 
and pre-eminence. Thus when he 
taught the duty of obedience, he 
showed at the same time a pattern 
of obedience in his own conduct. 
When he endeavored to instil into 
his disciples a sense of humility, of 
patience, of subjection to their supe- 
riors, and of other Christian virtues ; 
he practised them first himself, that 
so his own example might have the 
greater influence upon the lives of 
others. Being Head and Master, he 
thought it becoming his character to 
be chief also in bearing affronts, re- 
proaches, injuries, poverty, misery, 
and in performing the most humble 
services, even such as that of washing 
his disciples' feet. John 13 : 5. Thus 
he proved a Master, Head, and Teacher, 
not in doctrine only; but in life, in 
example, and practice. 

12. Alas! how great is our folly! 
Our Head despised worldly honor, 



212 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



and lo ! we are in pursuit of it. He 
submitted to crosses and trials, and 
we shrink back at the sight of them. 
He became obedient unto death; and 
we seek liberty, so that we may follow 
our own will. But this does not agree 
with the example which the Lord has 
set before us, nor with the spiritual 
maxims contained in the Book of Life, 
which he has left us for imitation. 
13. Consider, therefore, O man, whe- 



ther the way wherein thou walkest 
agrees with that excellent way where- 
in thy Lord and Master walked him- 
self. If thou despisest the narrow 
way of Jesus, and followest the way 
of the world, then know certainly that 
thy way, though smooth and pleasing 
for a while, will end in utter destruc- 
tion at last ! And thus the first part 
of Christ's life of sorrow and poverty 
has been described. 



CHAPTER XIV. 



SHOWING HOW CHRIST, BY THE SHAME AND CONTEMPT WHICH HE ENDURED, AND 
BY HIS SELF-DENIAL, TEACHES US TO DESPISE THE HONOR AND GLORY OP 
THE WORLD. 



He is 



and rejected of men ; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. — Isa. 53 : 3. 



THE second head of the life of 
poverty of Christ, is the con- 
tempt which he endured from the 
world. After thou hast read over 
and seriously considered the lesson of 
poverty exhibited by the Lord, take 
also a view of the deep and unaffected 
humility, which was so eminently seen 
in his whole life and conduct. Never 
did he catch at the applause of men; 
never was ke actuated by ambition, 
or any thirst after temporal honor 
and greatness: on the contrary, when- 
ever men offered to bestow honors 
and praises upon him, he refused 
them, both by word and by deed : 
never did he accept of any honor 
from men; nay, not even when "they 
would take him by force to make him 
a king." John 6 : 15. On the other 
hand, with what inexpressible humil- 
ity did he bear all the insults, the re- 
proaches, and calumnies with which 
his enemies loaded him ? He was ex- 



ecrated as a Samaritan, and his mira- 
cles were maliciously ascribed to the 
power of Beelzebub. John 8:48; Matt. 
12 : 24. The sound doctrine which he 
brought down from heaven, was de- 
nounced as blasphemy; and he who 
taught it, was everywhere insulted by 
foul and uncharitable censures, and 
such base lies and slanders as the mal- 
ice of men could contrive. He was 
betrayed and sold; he was denied and 
buffeted ; he was spit upon and 
crowned with thorns; he was derided 
and scourged; he was smitten, and 
sentenced to death; he was rejected, 
and condemned to undergo the igno- 
minious " death of the cross." Phil. 
2 : 8. He was forsaken by God and 
men ; and, in fine, being stripped of 
all, was executed in the midst of scan- 
dalous malefactors, hanging on the 
tree like one accursed. Gal. 3:13. He 
was made the common gazing-stock 
of all his enemies, and derided by all. 



Chap. XIV.] 



TKUE CHEISTIANITY. 



213 



His prayers were turned into ridicule; 
his garments were parted by lot; and 
at the approach of the very pangs of 
death, he had nothing wherewith to 
refresh himself but vinegar mingled 
with gall. Matt. 27 : 34. At last, when 
all was finished, he expired on the 
cross, amid the reproaches, hatred, 
and indignation of the world; his 
body was pierced with a spear, and 
he made his grave with the wicked. 
John 19 : 34 ; Isa. 53 : 9. Nay, his 
enemies continued to fume with rage 
and malice, even now when he had 
given up the ghost; and called him a 
deceiver. Matt. 27 : 63. Being risen 
at last from the dead, and triumphing 
over his enemies; they boldly denied 
the truth of his resurrection. Thus 
was the Lord, in the beginning, prog- 
ress, and end of his ever-blessed life, 
" despised and rejected, a man. of sor- 
rows, and acquainted with grief." 

2. In the course of our Lord's life, 
there is not only displayed to us the 
abounding treasure of redemption 
gained by Christ ; but it is also most 
clearly demonstrated, that in this 
scene of suffering, he is our great 
teacher and master, our prophet and 
shepherd, our instructor, light, and 
constant monitor; that also we, by 
looking unto him, may learn to des- 
pise earthly pomp and greatness; and 



by closely adhering to him, like true 
members to their head, " grow up 
into him in all things " (Ephes. 4 : 15), 
being rendered conformable unto his 
life, " and rooted and grounded in his 
love." Ephes. 3 : 17. 

3. But when our lives are contraiy 
to the life of him who is designed to 
be our Head; when in our actions, 
words, and endeavors, we do not en- 
tirely aim at God's glory, but our own ; 
it is more than evident, that Christ 
does not live in us, but rather the 
prince of this world. It is then plain, 
that we have not yet learned to love 
Christ, and that we are not yet loose 
from the various ties of this world ; 
for " whatsoever is born of God, over- 
cometh the world " (1 John 5:4); and 
so of course is not overcome by it. 
Nor does such a one any longer love 
the world ; for " if any man love the 
world, the love of the Father is not 
in him" (1 John 2:15); and conse- 
quently, that of Christ must be absent 
likewise. For the whole life of Christ 
teaches us how to die unto the world. 
Consider then the beginning, together 
with the progress and conclusion of 
his life, and remember the profound 
humility with which he bore the 
contempt and reproaches of all those 
that love the world. 



214 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



CHAPTER XV. 



SHOWING HOW WE SHOULD, THROUGH CHRIST, BEAR AND OVERCOME THE TRIALS 
AND CONTEMPT OE THE WORLD. 



Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and 
faint in your minds. — Heb. 12 : 3. 



IT is a most moving complaint ut- 
tered by the Messiah : " I became 
a reproach unto them ; when they 
looked upon me, they shaked their 
heads. Help me, O Lord my God; O 
save me according to thy mercy; that 
they may know that this is thy hand; 
that thou Lord hast done it. Let them 
curse, but bless thou; when they arise, 
let them be ashamed ; but let thy 
servant rejoice. Let mine adversaries 
be clothed with shame ; and let them 
cover themselves with their own con- 
fusion as with a mantle. I will greatly 
praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, 
I will praise him among the multi- 
tude. For he shall stand at the right 
hand of the poor, to save him from 
those that condemn his soul." Ps. 
109:25-31. 

2. This pathetic complaint of the 
Lord our Kedeemer, every Christian 
ought to represent to himself as a 
mirror, in which to behold the life of 
Christ under the cross, together with 
that of all the saints in general. This 
way of the cross has been copiously 
set forth in the Book of Psalms, in 
order to render it the more familiar to 
us, and to teach us betimes, that " we 
must through much tribulation enter 
into the kingdom of God." Acts 14 : 
22. Such a consideration gives present 
ease and comfort under the contempt 
and reproaches incident to the true 
followers of Christ, and accustoms 
them to a conformity to the image of 



Christ (Bom. 8 : 29) : which as it is 
one of the greatest honors our Master 
bestows on his disciples ; so it is by 
the world abhorred and loathed, just 
as a healing medicine is by a dis- 
tempered and delicate palate. This 
conformity is, however, the grand 
duty of a Christian, inuring him to 
bear his Master's reproach (Heb. 13 : 
13) and abject image in time, that he 
may also hereafter bear his glorious 
image in eternity. Phil. 3: 21. 

3. Now, as the 109th Psalm above- 
mentioned, contains a prayer of Christ 
poured out in the midst of his suffer- 
ings; so it mentions, in the latter 
part, three kinds of trouble more par- 
ticularly, with which the Lord found 
himself oppressed. 

4. In the first place, the Lord com- 
plaineth of a vehement anxiety of 
heart, declared in this manner: "I am 
poor and needy, and my heart is 
wounded within me." Yer. 22. Be- 
hold, what complaints this holy, this 
eminent Person is reduced to! And 
what is the reason of them ? Surely, 
to acquaint us in the most affectionate 
terms, with all that he hath suffered 
for our sake. He says, "I am poor;" 
and lo ! thou toilest to get estates, to y 
hoard up riches; and yet when thou 
hast them, thou art still poor and dis- 
contented in the possession of them. 

He says, " I am needy ;" and thou, O 
man, art entirely bent upon thy ease, 
prosperity, and fulness of bread ! He 



Chap. XV.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



215 



complains, "my heart is wounded 
within me ;" how unreasonable is it 
then, O man ! that thou shouldest de- 
sire to be humored and gratified in all 
thy vain and carnal propensities! 
Now, if nothing will awaken in thee 
a love of the cross of Christ, let at 
least the consideration of the sacred- 
ness of the afflicted Person, infinitely 
exalted above thee, work thee into a 
ready compliance with his life. Such 
a consideration will give thee ease and 
patience under any grief that may at- 
tend thee, and make thee relish better 
those pure and untainted pleasures 
which will succeed the cross. There- 
fore, think with thyself in this man- 
ner: "I am now put to trouble and 
anxiety of heart ; but the same befell 
also my Lord and Master, whose very 
soul was surrounded with sorrows so 
heavy and acute, with pains so great, 
that nothing of what I shall ever un- 
dergo can equal them." However, 
the Lord, after his sufferings, entered 
into everlasting joy ; after contempt, 
into never-fading glory; through 
death into life; and through hell into 
heaven. And thus will it be with the 
sincere followers of the Lord, to whom 
their crosses will prove but as so many 
advances to a more excellent glory, 
and their affliction will be the avenue 
to everlasting bliss and happiness. 

5. The Lord continues his complaint 
thus : " I am gone like the shadow 
when it deelineth : I am tossed up and 
down as the locust. My knees are 
weak through fasting; and my flesh 
faileth of fatness." Ps. 109 : 23, 24. A 
most expressive description of the 
common frailty of human nature ! 
What is a shadow, but a mere noth- 
ing, an empty lifeless appearance ? 
To such an abject lowliness, to such 
an inconceivable degree of humilia- 
tion, the Lord suffered himself to be 



reduced whilst he dwelt among us ! 
He who is life and light itself, and the 
bottomless fountain of life and happi- 
ness, is exposed to labor and infirmi- 
ties; and should not men hereby learn 
so much humility at least, as to think 
themselves far more emphatically as 
shadows, or as nothing, than the Lord 
of life himself? At the same time, it 
is to be remembered that the Lord 
here refers to his state of humiliation 
alone, for, in his own glory he is our 
Lord and our life. He says, " I am 
tossed up and down as the locust. ,r 
The Lord had no settled habitation 
upon earth, as men of the world have. 
He was in a constant pilgrimage to- 
wards that kingdom which cannot be 
moved. For this reason he is said to 
have only dwelt or tabernacled among 
us (John 1 : 14), and is here compared 
to a locust, which having no abiding- 
place, is fearful, and tossed to and fro 
with every wind. Nahum 3:17; Exod. 
10:19. And even in this our blessed 
Saviour has left us a pattern, to walk 
as he walked; and since we have no 
continuing city here, to seek one to 
come, which " hath foundations, whose 
builder and maker is God." Heb. 11 : 10».. 
What is farther added of the weakness- 
of his knees, and the failing of his- 
flesh, abundantly appeared about the* 
time of his passion, when his "strength 
was dried up like a potsherd " (Ps. 22 r. 
15) ; and this may be a monitor to us. 
under bodily diseases and infirmities.. 
Should we complain of a fit of sick- 
ness, when the Lord of life pined away 
into weakness, and languished in mis- 
ery ? What matters it, how languid,, 
weak, and neglected our body be, if 
our soul and spiritual life be but vig- 
orous and sound ? The soul ought to 
" eat that which is good, and delight 
itself in spiritual fatness" (Isa. 55:2),. 
that so it may grow " strong in the; 



216 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



Lord, and in the power of his might." 
Ephes. 6 : 10. 

6. Thirdly, the Lord complains of 
the great contempt he underwent in 
this world, in order to stop us in our 
pursuit after vain honor, pride, and 
self-esteem. "I became," says he, '-a 
reproach unto them : when they looked 
upon me they shaked their heads." 
What indignity is there like unto this! 
But the Anointed of the Lord en- 
dured it all for no other end, than to 
rescue mankind from eternal scorn and 
infamy; for man having become a 
scorner and hater of God, Christ was 
designed to make atonement for so 
heinous a sin, by the extreme con- 
tempt which he willingly endured. 
However, as the Lord by his humble 
submission to the contempt of the 
world, has laid a mighty obligation on 
all Christians to be his followers there- 
in ; so the considerations here annexed, 
may be of use for supporting a man 
under sufferings of that nature. 

7. First consider, that in bearing the 
contempt of the world, thou bearest 
no less than the very image of Christ, 
and followest him who is thy Head 
and Master. Rom. 8 : 17. 

8. (2) To be contemned and disre- 
spectfully used by the world, is of 
great efficacy for improving thyself in 
true humility; a virtue which finds 
favor with God. " For God resisteth 
the proud, but giveth grace to the 
humble." 1 Peter 5 : 5. 

9. (3) Thy suffering of reproaches 
for the sake of truth, is an evidence 
that thou art ranked with that cloud 
■of witnesses, who in all ages have 
been made " as the filth of the world, 
;and the offscouring of all things/' and 
;so continue to be esteemed " unto this 
.day." 1 Cor. 4 : 13. 

10. (4) Remember that those that 
:are come out " of great tribulation, 



shall be before the throne of God" at 
last (Rev. 7 : 14), and be there " con- 
fessed before the angels of God." Luke 
12 : 8 ; 1 Cor. 4 : 5. 

11. (5) Of what consequence is it 
how contemptuously the world uses 
thee, since thou art not to rise in the 
last day (as many shall), "to shame 
and everlasting contempt " (Dan. 12 : 
2), (the Lord having redeemed thee 
from that), but to honor and glory ! 

12. (6) Remember that God does 
not withhold his grace from thee in 
this world. When the w T orld frowns, 
God favors. When men withdraw 
their kindness, then God confers his 
mercy. For this purpose the Psalmist 
prays : ," Help me, O Lord my God : 
O save me according to thy mercy; 
that they may know that this is thy 
hand, and that thou, Lord, hast done 
it." Ps. 109: 26, 27. That is to say: 
As the Lord removed at last his Son 
from the cross, from all the labors of 
his soul, from all the insults of his en- 
emies, and crowned him with glory in 
heaven ; so will he deal with thee also, 
if thou continuest faithful in bearing 
the cross, and all the injuries of a pro- 
fane world. All shall see and shall 
know, that it is the Lord's hand that 
hath done it. 

13. (7) It was God himself who suf- 
fered his beloved Son to be thus con- 
temned, reproached, and reviled, ac- 
cording to the words of the Psalm: 
" Because for thy sake I have borne 
reproach ; shame hath covered my- 
face." Ps. 69 : 7. Remember, there- 
fore, that the same God, who gave a 
bitter cup to his dear Son, hath also 
allotted thee thy trials, to humble 
thee, and to know what is in thy 
heart. 

14. (8) Be sure that the Lord will 
change all the undeserved reproaches 
thrown upon thee, into so many bless- 



Chap. XV.] 



TKUE CHKISTIANITY. 



217 



ings, and in his own time pour shame 
and confusion upon the scoffers. This 
is expressed in the following verse : 
" Let them curse, but bless thou : 
when they arise, let them be ashamed; 
but let thy servant rejoice." Ps. 109 : 
28. Nay, if the wicked curse ever so 
much, yet "shall the curse causeless 
never come " (Prov. 26 : 2), as plainly 
appears from Balaam's attempt, who 
could not " curse, whom God had not 
cursed." ISTumb. 23 : 8. Whereas, who- 
soever feareth the Lord, it shall go 
well with him at the last, and he shall 
find favor in the day of his death. 
The same blessing is bestowed on 
Abraham, and on all those that walk 
in the steps of his faith: " I will bless 
them that bless thee, and curse him 
that curseth thee." Gen. 12 : 3. And 
in another place we have this en- 
couragement: "Fear ye not the re- 
proach of men, neither be ye afraid 
of their revilings." Isa. 51:7. And 
our Eedeemer himself hath declared : 
" Blessed are ye, when men shall re- 
vile you." Matt. 5 : 11. And his apos- 
tle says: "If ye be reproached for the 
name of Christ, happy are ye; for the 
spirit of glory and of God resteth 
upon you." 1 Pet. 4 : 14. 

15. (9) The Lord goes on in the 
aforesaid Psalm : " I will greatly praise 
the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will 
praise him among the multitude." Ps. 
109 : 30. Christ now returns thanks 
to his heavenly Father for the very 
crosses and reproaches that were al- 
lotted him. This is the temper of 
every sincere Christian. He is thank- 
ful in the midst of afflictions and re- 
proaches, particularly when he looks 
on the hand of that kind Father who 
entails all this upon him, but who also 
delivers him. And truly, the Lord 
never inflicts a judgment on any soul, 
but he affords at the same time suffi- 



cient reason for thanking and blessing 
him for that affliction. Thus is grati- 
tude the happy product of crosses and 
trials. And this consideration is fit to 
sweeten the duty of resignation to the 
will of God. He that for the love of 
Christ readily submits to the contempt 
of a vain world, shall be honored by 
God again, both in this world and in 
the world to come. There is a time, 
wherein the Lord " raiseth up the 
poor out of the dust, and lifteth the 
needy out of the dunghill ; that he 
may set him with princes, even with 
the princes of his people." Ps. 113 : 7. 
Surely, it argues an excellent spirit, 
when a man for Christ's sake bears 
the insults of the wicked, and main- 
tains an unshaken calmness of mind, 
in the midst of all the calumnies of 
the world. This is " the ornament of 
a meek and quiet spirit, which in the 
sight of God is of great price." 1 Pet. 
3 :4. 

16. (10) The Psalm concludes, "For 
he shall stand at the right hand of the 
poor, to save him from those that con- 
demn his soul." Ps. 109 : 31. Here is 
comfort sufficient to make a Christian 
bear up against the hardships and re- 
proaches he is exposed to in his war- 
fare. It is never said that the Lord 
will stand at the right hand of the 
violent and great ones, of the oppres- 
sors and persecutors ; but he will 
stand at the right hand of the poor, 
who being destitute of the arm or sup- 
port of men, flee to the Lord alone for 
help and refuge, as to the sole object 
of their faith and trust. Those are 
"remembered, when he maketh in- 
quisition for blood " (Ps. 9 : 12) ; and 
those are the afflicted, or the humble, 
" whose cry the Lord doth not forget." 
Tertullian tells us, "We are then ab- 
solved by God, when the world con- 
demns us." For though "the wicked 



218 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



wateheth the righteous, and seeketh 
to slay him ; yet will the Lord not 
leave him in his hand, nor condemn 
him when he is judged." Ps. 37 : 32, 33. 
Thus will the Lord attend thee, O 
man ! with a wonderful deliverance, 
and afford thee reason enough to extol 
his name among many, for his marvel- 
lous kindness. David himself " had 
fainted, unless he had believed to see 
the goodness of the Lord in the land 



of the living. Wait, therefore, on the 



Lord; be of good 



courage, and he 



shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I 
say, on the Lord." Ps. 27 : 13, 14. 
" Therefore judge nothing before the 
time, until the Lord come, who both 
will bring to light the hidden things 
of darkness, and will make manifest 
the counsels of the heart : and then 
shall every man have praise of God." 
1 Cor. 4 : 5. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



SHOWING HOW CHRISTIANS ARE TO SEEK AND OBTAIN FAVOR AND GLORY 
THROUGH CHRIST, IN HEAVEN. 

Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise, etc. — Ps. 109 : 1, etc 






THIS is a prayer of the eternal Son 
of God. The purport or substance 
of this prayer, may be more fully ex- 
pressed in this manner : 

" My Heavenly Father ! thou know- 
est that in this world I have not 
sought my own glory, but the glory 
of thy holy name, and the salvation 
of all men : and therefore am I so bit- 
terly persecuted, blasphemed, con- 
temned, and vilified. Nevertheless, 
this is my comfort, that thou art my 
Father, and that I am thy only begot- 
ten Son : lo ! this is my glory, in 
heaven with thee. And this my glory 
wilt thou in due time manifest and 
bring to light; that by thy glorifying 
of me, the world may see who it is 
whom they have blasphemed and per- 
secuted." John 12 : 28. 

2. Hence we are to learn, that such 
have the greatest glory and praise in 
heaven, who in this world are the 
most persecuted for righteousness' 
sake. This we may gather from the 



example of our Lord himself. From 
him, the true Book of Life, we may 
learn true wisdom. But that we may 
the better understand that his exam- 
ple and holy life are our Book of Life, 
let us carefully observe the follow- 
ing considerations : (1) Christ never 
sought upon earth his own glory in 
anything, but accounted it sufficient 
for him, that God alone was his glory. 
So let us, in like manner, reject the 
empty glory and praises of this world, 
in whatever we do ; endeavoring only 
that God be glorified in us, saying, 
" Ah, Lord God ! give us also such a 
heart, even the heart of Christ thy 
Son, that we may have our glory in 
Thee alone, and not in ourselves ; that 
we may have our glory in heaven, and 
not upon earth." 

3. (2) It was the highest glory of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, that he was the 
only begotten Son of God. And for 
this reason did the world persecute, 
vilify, and blaspheme him. Here let 



Chap. XVI.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



219 



our prayer be like this : ' : Grant us 
also, Holy Father, that we may count 
it our greatest glory and joy, that we 
are thy children ; that so we may also 
obtain the eternal enjoyment of thy 
love and promise, and may, by virtue 
of our adoption, come to possess in 
thee an everlasting inheritance. Re- 
mind us, also, that if the world hate, 
envy, reproach, and persecute us, it 
has done the same to thy dear and 
holy child Jesus." 

4. (3) It is the glory of the Lord 
Jesus, that he wrought so many di- 
vine works, that he went about con- 
tinually doing the most wondrous acts 
of grace and beneficence to mankind: 
and that he did this from pure love 
only, and from the highest compassion 
for the miseries of fallen nature ; al- 
though he received nothing but hatred 
and most heinous ingratitude in re- 
turn. " Grant us, blessed God, grate- 
ful and faithful hearts, so that we may 
be always ready to do good to as many 
as we possibly can ; and that we may 
never be deterred from acts of charity, 
by the unthankfulness of the world, 
ascribing not to ourselves, but to thy 
name only, the glory of all that we 
do." 

5. (4) It is the highest glory of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, that out of 
pure love, he laid down his life for 
us ; that he purchased us with his own 
blood ; that he was obedient to the 
Father, even unto death ; that with 
the greatest meekness he endured the 
vilest reproach ; and with the utmost 
patience, bore the pains of the cross. 
" O God, our glory, help us, that we 
may also overcome our enemy with 
love; that we may subdue our flesh 
with godly obedience; bear the re- 
proach of the world with the meek- 
ness and long suffering of Christ; ob- 
tain the victory through patience; 



and being thus made strong in the 
Lord, be more than conquerors 
through him that loved us !" 

6. (5) The highest glory of the 
blessed Jesus, is his exaltation to the 
right hand of God, and the name given 
him, which is "above every name; 
that, at the name of Jesus, every knee, 
both in heaven and in earth, should 
bow, and all tongues confess him to be 
their Lord." Phil. 2 : 9-11. "Help, O 
gracious God! that we may esteem it 
our highest glory to be made conform- 
able to our ever-blessed Head and Sa- 
viour; that so when he shall hereafter 
appear in power and majesty, we also 
may appear with him in glory, after 
we have here endured the contempt 
of the world, and continued faithful to 
the end, when every man shall have 
praise of God." 1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Cor. 
4:17. 

7. (6) The glory of Christ the 
Lord is, that he is the only Head of 
his Church in general, and of every 
member thereof in particular; a glo- 
rious King of his people ; and an ever- 
lasting High priest, making interces- 
sion for us. " Help us with thy grace, 
O God most gracious, that we may ever- 
more account it our greatest glory, 
that we are members of thy Son, and 
subjects of his kingdom, and that we 
may enjoy all the privileges and bene- 
fits purchased by his high-priestly in- 
tercession, sacrifice, and benediction." 

8. (7) Another branch of the glory 
of Christ is, that God has most won- 
derfully displayed and magnified his 
name throughout the whole world : 
and has (in opposition to all his ene- 
mies, blasphemers, and persecutors, 
who would not own him to be the Son 
of God), in the most public and solemn 
manner attested his cause, declared 
him to be his Son by mighty signs 
and wonders, and established faith in 



220 



TKUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book IT. 



his name amongst many nations and 
languages. Notwithstanding that God 
held his peace for a while, and vailed 
the glory of his Son under the mys- 
tery of the cross; yet did it break 
forth the more gloriously like the sun. 
For, "out of Zion, the perfection of 
beauty, God hath shined. Our God 
shall come, and shall not keep silence." 
For though God, who is our glory, 
may seem now and then to be silent, 
and to hold his peace when we are in- 
sulted and persecuted; yet is there 
nothing more certain, than that after 
the short hour of probation, he will no 
longer keep silence, but with a high 
hand deliver us from the reproach 
which we suffered, and "remove his 



stroke away from us," that we may 
rejoice in his salvation. Ps. 39 : 10. 
However, "it doth not yet appear 
what we shall then be." 1 John 3 : 2. 

9. The conclusion of the whole is 
this : It is God alone who is to be our 
glory ; it is not the world, nor wealth, 
nor honor, nor greatness, nor the arm 
of flesh, that I may call my glory; 
but God, and only God, is my glory ! 
Wherefore, "let not the wise man 
glory in his wisdom " (as it is written), 
" neither let the mighty man glory in 
his might, nor let the rich man glory 
in his riches : but let him that glo- 
rieth, glory in this, that he under- 
standeth and knoweth me, that I am 
the Lord." Jer. 9 : 23, 24; 1 Cor. 1 : 31. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



SHOWING HOW WE MAY THROUGH CHRIST, AND AFTER THE EXAMPLE OP ALL 



Mine enemies reproach me all the day, and they that are mad against me are sworn 

we.— Ps. 102 : 8. 



AMONG the many crosses and 
troubles of a Christian, a false 
and slanderous tongue is none of the 
least, as we may evidently see, from 
the example of Christ himself, whom 
the Pharisees, with their envenomed 
tongues, both in his life and at his 
death, did most maliciously sting. 

2. Herein the Lord left a pattern 
of patience to every Christian, who 
must not think to escape, since the 
great Master himself was wounded by 
malicious tongues. The more con- 
formable any one is to Christ, and 
the more zealously he follows Christ's 
steps, the more is he also insulted 
by false and deceitful tongues. This 



plainly appears from the example of 
holy David, who was tormented by 
slanderers, as he himself complains in 
the following Psalms: 3, 4, 10, 12 ; 15, 
31, 50, 52, 55, 58, 64, 69, 102, 120, and 
140. Indeed, there is no one of the 
prophets of old who did not have 
these deadly arrows shot against him 
by murderous tongues ; for " their 
tongue is an arrow shot out : he 
speaks peaceably to his neighbor with 
his mouth, but in heart he layeth his 
wait." Jer. 9 : 8. All honest hearts 
ought, therefore, to beware of back- 
biters. As he that toucheth a man 
infected with leprosy, or any in- 
fectious distemper, must expect to be 



Chap. XVII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



221 



so infected; so he that gives ear to 
lying tongues, too often catches the 
same distemper. 

3. Now, since a Christian is forbid- 
den to retort evil for evil (Rom. 12 : 
17; Matt. 5 : 39), (this agreeing in no 
wise with the Christian faith); there 
is no other counsel left, but that by a 
conscience void of offence, he derives 
his comfort from those divine oracles 
with which the Lord has furnished 
him for that purpose. 

4. (1) Let thy first comfort be the 
example of Christ and of all the 
saints. It fares no worse with us in 
this respect, than with Christ our 
Head, and with all that have ever 
been most dear to him. Nothing of 
this kind has befallen us, which has 
not been before in all ages undergone 
by his followers. And since the ex- 
amples of others have generally a 
strong influence on our lives, and 
readily suggest themselves to our re- 
membrance in time of trouble; we 
ought, therefore, to improve all those 
instances into an encouragement to 
bear our treatment with patience, for 
the sake of the joy that usually 
springs up from the reproach of the 
cross. Look then upon the Prince of 
thy salvation, look upon the lives of 
all the saints of old, those, who have 
been the greatest lights in their gen- 
eration. Consider the example of 
Moses, who esteemed the reproach of 
Christ greater riches than the treas- 
ures in Egypt (Heb. 11:26), and who, 
by reason of the continual contradic- 
tions he underwent, is said to have 
been a man meek, or afflicted, above 
all the men which were upon the face 
of the earth. Numb. 12: 3. And what 
shall we say of David ? He was 
truly, in his time, the very mark, as it 
were, at which all the false tongues 
in the land shot their murderous ar- 



rows. " Mine enemies," said he, " re- 
vile me all the day long : and they 
that are mad against me, are sworn 
together against me." Ps. 102 : 8. 
They affronted him daily with the 
reproach of his misery, turning him, 
as it were, into a proverb, and offer- 
ing him the most heinous indignity 
that can be offered to a man. What 
shall we say of Job? How was he 
upbraided by his friends, and grieved 
with their tongues! And how fell 
Daniel, that holy prophet, into an 
open sepulchre, yea, into a den of 
lions! Yet how powerfully did the 
Lord rescue Moses, Job, and Daniel ! 
All these are gone before thee, and 
their examples, if duly considered, 
will excite in thee a spirit of holy 
emulation, and draw thee into the 
same way of the cross by which they 
entered into the kingdom of God. 
Acts 14 : 22. Behold, thy Lord Jesus 
goeth before thee, pursued with the 
curses and revilings of the Pharisees! 
There goeth Moses before, and the 
faction of Korah, Dathan, and Abi- 
ram, following behind, with execra- 
tions in their mouths, and stones in 
their hands, to rid themselves of him ! 
Numb. 16. There is David in sore 
trials, and Shimei behind, cursing his 
king! 2 Sam. 16:5. And there are 
the apostles of our Lord, and an un- 
believing multitude behind, stopping 
their ears, and running madly upon 
them. 

5. (2) It is not enough, however, 
slightly and superficially to reflect on 
the example of the saints; but we 
must learn also to be followers of 
them, when we are tried as they 
were, and in every tribulation copy 
after their meekness and patience. 
How shall meekness appear, or how 
shall patience be exercised, if thou be 
not contradicted; or if there be none 



222 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



to deride, slander, or vilify thee ? 
Thou must, therefore, patiently take 
up thy cross with them, and meekly 
follow the Lord Christ in his steps. 
Thou art called to suffer with thy 
Saviour, and not to avenge thyself, 
not to return evil for evil, not to re- 
vile again being reviled, not to threat- 
en being slandered, but quietly to 
commit thy cause " to him that judg- 
eth righteously/' 1 Pet, 2 : 23. Evil 
tongues must give an account in the 
day of judgment of every idle word 
which they have spoken. Matt. 12 : 
36. And this will at the last day 
prove a burden heavy enough. Leave 
all, therefore, to the Lord, to do as he 
pleaseth, who will not fail to do right. 
Recompense and vengeance belong to 
him alone. Deut. 32 : 35. Fix thine 
eye on the Lord Jesus : " He was op- 
pressed, and he was afflicted, yet he 
opened not his mouth : he was brought 
as a lamb to the slaughter ; and as 
a sheep before his shearers is dumb, 
so opened he not his mouth." Isa. 
53:7. 

6. (3) From the examples of the 
saints, we are, in the next place, to 
learn a sovereign remedy, which they 
made use of against the venom of 
evil tongues. This is prayer. They 
prayed, and so they were healed and 
comforted. When they were bitterly 
cursed by their adversaries, they sent 
up only their cry to God, saying: 
" Let them curse ; but bless thou." 
Ps. 109 : 28 ; Luke 6 : 28. Consider 
the whole Book of Psalms through- 
out. How did David defend himself 
with prayer, as with a wall of iron, 
against false tongues! They are all 
foolish marksmen, who bend their bow 
against the innocent; and draw the 
sword to slay such as are of a right 
conversation : for their lies and slan- 
ders shall return at last upon their 



own heads, and shall enter into their 
own bowels; as it is written : "Their 
sword shall enter into their own heart, 
and their bows shall be broken." Ps. 
37 : 15. All this can be obtained by 
prayer. Whenever any one prays 
earnestly against an evil speaker or a 
liar, it is as if he wrestled and fought 
with him; even as David wrestled 
with Goliah (1 Sam. 17 :48, 49), or as 
Moses contended with the Egyptian 
sorcerers. Ex. 7 : 12. Here two spirits 
fight with each other; that is, the 
prayer of faith proceeding from the 
Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth; and 
the spirit of lies proceeding from the 
devil, the father of lies. But all these 
devilish serpents of the Egyptians 
shall eventually be subdued, and, as it 
were, swallowed up by the divine rod 
of Moses; that is, by prayer. 

7. (4) Another remedy against the 
poison of a wicked tongue, is the fre- 
quent reading and meditating upon the 
Word of God. This is an excellent 
means of consolation and refresh- 
ment, whenever a soul is insulted and 
pursued by enemies. An upright heart 
hunted by men of falsehood and mal- 
ice, is like a hart, whose thirst in- 
creases by being hunted; and as this 
pants after the water brooks (Ps. 42 : 
1), so must a soul in affliction long 
after the cooling streams of the di^ 
vine Word, and thirst for the living 
waters of grace, thereby to be quick- 
ened and refreshed. For by this word 
of grace the Lord revives a drooping 
soul, speaking to her in a kind and 
gracious manner. " Blessed are ye," 
says our Master, " when men shall re- 
vile you, and persecute you, and shall 
say all manner of evil against you 
falsely. Rejoice and be exceeding 
glad; for great is your reward in 
heaven ; for so persecuted they the 
prophets which were before you." 



Chap. XVII.] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



223 



Matt. 5 : 11, 12. In this saying of our 
Lord, there is a threefold ground of 
comfort. 1. Blessed are ye. 2. Ee- 
joice. 3. Great is your reward. "Who 
would not be willing, for the sake of 
so great and endless a good, to endure 
here reproach and persecution for a 
short period ? Yea, who would not 
even rejoice, since he is made by this 
means a partaker of Christ's suffer- 
ings, in order, "that when the glory 
of Christ shall be revealed," he may 
also partake with his Lord in that 



j°y 



If ye be reproached for the 



name of Christ, happy are ye, for the 
Spirit of glory and of God resteth 
upon you." 1 Pet. 4 : 13, 14. Eemem- 
ber also, that " it is good for a man 
that he bear the yoke in his youth ;" 
that he " sit alone and keep silence," 
when he hath anything laid upon him 
to bear; yea, that he "put his mouth 
in the dust," and wait in hope; and 
that he "give his cheek to him that 
smiteth him," when he is "filled full 
with reproach. For the Lord will not 
cast off for ever." Lam. 3 : 27-31. 

8. (5) Thou art further to learn, that 
such calumny is a hellish storm, which 
soon rises, and soon blows over. As a 
traveller is not disheartened at any 
tempestuous weather he is liable to 
meet with upon the road, but provides 
himself the more against it : so let the 
spiritual pilgrim never be cast down 
by storms and tempests ; but let him 
go on in hope, and continue faithful 
to the end of his journey. This has 
been uniformly the state of the true 
church. "Othou afflicted," says the 
prophet, "tossed with tempest, and 
not comforted !" Isaiah 54 : 11. Is it 
a " strange" thing that has happened 
unto thee ? 1 Pet. 4 : 12. What is 
more common to a traveller, than to 
be overtaken by foul and stormy 
weather? A persevering diligence 



will, notwithstanding, bring him home 
at last. The world makes every one 
a gazing-stock, that looks with con- 
cern upon the vain follies of men, and 
drops a serious word in favor of virtue. 
What is to-day the fate of one good 
Christian, may to-morrow be the fate 
of another, according as the humor of 
the world works, which allows no one 
to pass uncensured that is not in league 
with it. The best method a Christian 
can adopt in all these storms, is to be 
quiet under them, and to keep his 
mind free from anger and bitterness. 
He that considers every hard word to 
be a stain on his character, which 
ought to be wiped off, will by so doing 
only render things worse. Hence it 
remains, that the most effectual way 
to stop the fury of slanderous tongues, 
is to yield to it for the present, and 
patiently wait till time itself shall set 
things in a better light. He that will 
dispute every thing at the sword's 
point, as it were, is like a man that is 
stung by a bee, and being thereby put 
in a passion, runs headlong upon the 
whole hive in order to be revenged, 
by turning it upside down. Had he 
not better have borne it, than feel the 
smart w^hich must attend an attempt 
so rash ? The fire of malicious tongues 
burns the more fiercely when we 
seek to quench it by too hasty efforts. 
An evil tongue is like that serpent 
called the Hydra, which, as some tell 
us, brought forth seven other heads 
when, in order to destroy it, you cut 
off one. Thus a wicked tongue is so 
far from being restrained by contra- 
diction, that it spreads the farther by 
it, and broaches seven lies instead of 
one. Whereas he that is deaf to popu- 
lar rumors, and is not easily alarmed 
at every little noise, will not only bet- 
ter repel the darts of wicked tongues, 
but enjoy also an unshaken tranquillity 



224 



TEUB CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book IL 



both of soul and body. This is a truly 
noble method to overcome the worst 
of our enemies. He that rejects this 
heroic meekness of soul, sets himself 
entirely out of God's protection, and 
whilst he eagerly endeavors to save 
his name and reputation, must be the 
more harassed by the perpetual alarms 
of malignant tongues. 

9. (6) Besides this, there are some 
other particular reasons, why the Lord 
permits his children to be persecuted 
by virulent tongues. When David in 
his sore troubles was cursed by Shimei, 
he said no more than, "Let him curse ; 
for the Lord hath bidden him." 2 Sam. 
16 : 11. And what other reason can be 
assigned for this, but that the Lord 
hereby seeks to preserve his children 
from exalting themselves above meas- 
ure, on account of such eminent gifts 
as have been conferred upon them ; and 
that they may at the same time improve 
themselves in the practice of mutual 
love, mildness, and humility ? What 
is said by David of Shimei, namely, 
that he was bidden to curse his king, 
is expressed by Job in more general 
terms : " He poureth contempt upon 
princes." Job 12 : 21. Now, who is 
able to fathom all the mysterious 
depths of divine judgments ? The car- 
nal mind by no means likes to be re- 
viled, insulted, or undervalued. Pride 
and self-love so naturally adhere to us, 
that they taint all our works and 
actions. Every one loves to be ex- 
tolled, and to be made much of, to be 
esteemed and admired. Alas ! it is this 
natural self-love, which having once 
led man astray, now propagates noth- 
ing but error and folly in the world. 
It was this self-love that ruined both 
Lucifer and Adam, and stripped them 
of the divine love and life with which 
they were once adorned. In order 
that we may obtain the victory over 



this spirit of self-love, and with a view 
to facilitate this conquest, the Lord 
thinks, as it were, with himself: " I 
will permit a lying tongue to assail 
thee, as I formerly permitted Satan 
to harass my servants Job and Paul, 
for their greater humiliation. This 
slandering tongue shall be thy devil, 
thy scourge, thy plague, to buffet thee 
(2 Cor. 12 : 7), and help to beat down 
that proud heart, that haughty look, 
that aspiring temper, which, without 
this curb, would at last carry all before 
it." Thus the Lord leaves nothing 
untried to accustom the soul to that 
excellent spirit of humility, and to re- 
strain the spirit of self-love, by which 
men become allies to Lucifer, who, en- 
deavoring to have a will of his own, 
opposite to that of his Maker, entirely 
lost his principality, and that original 
state in which he was at first created. 
Jude, ver. 6. 

10. (7) Therefore as the Lord is 
faithful on his side, so he seeks to con- 
vert the venom of impious tongues 
thrown upon his children, into a pre- 
cious medicine, by which to heal that 
self-love which is fostered within, and 
which engenders abundance of other 
spiritual diseases in the mind. When 
the world meditates evil against them, 
then God brings good out of the evil. 
As out of a certain poisonous serpent 
an antidote is prepared against poison 
itself, so God overrules the worst of 
counsels, and makes them turn to the 
greatest good to his children. Thus 
" all things work together for good 
to them that love God." Eom. 8 : 28 
They are taught thereby to practise 
one of the noblest of the works of char- 
ity, which is, to " bless their enemies, 
and to pray for them who despitefully 
use them." Matt. 5 : 44. He that has 
thus far gained the conquest over cor- 
rupt nature, so as to pray heartily for 



Chap. XYIL] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



22^ 



his enemies, is almost arrived at the 
sublimest degree of true evangelical 
charity, which alone is able to soften 
our stubborn hearts into the mild and 
compassiouate heart of Christ, who 
has also set us a blessed pattern to 
follow: " Father!" said he, "forgive 
them ; for they know not what they 
do." Luke 23 : 34. For wherever true 
love is rooted in a soul, it will most 
certainly produce a tender commiser- 
ation towards enemies; who, as the 
Christian knows, whilst they hate 
men, render themselves entirely unfit 
for any communion with God and 
Christ, and give up their hearts to the 
devil, that great hater of souls. And 
this should influence every Christian 
to commiserate such evil men, who. are 
not of God, but of their father the 
devil ; and lest they should forever sink 
into the jaws of Satan, the Lord com- 
mands his people to pray for them, 
with this motive annexed to the com- 
mand : " That ye may be the children 
of your Father who is in heaven." 
Matt. 5 : 45. What has been said of 
the overruling power of God, where- 
by he converts the venom of lying 
tongues into a healing medicine, will 
more fully appear from the following 
instances. Joseph would never have 
been exalted to the dignity of ruler 
over the land of Egypt, had he not 
fallen under the malicious lashes of a 
wanton tongue, and thereby been con- 
demned to prison. Gen. 39 : 17 ; 41 : 
40. Had Moses not been persecuted 
by the violent accusations of his ene- 
mies, and obliged to flee from the face 
of Pharaoh (Exod. 2 : 15), he had 
never seen the Lord in the bush, after 
having led Jethro's flock to Horeb. 
Exod. 3 : 2. The spiteful tongue of 
Doeg the Edomite, and of other ene- 
mies of David (1 Sam. 22 : 9 j Ps. 52), 
drew many a noble Psalm from the 



latter. Thus Doeg's poisonous tongue 
was David's medicine. The same 
overruling wisdom of God appeared 
for Daniel, when, by the virulence of 
his accusers, he was cast into the den 
of lions, but was most triumphantly 
exalted again by divine Providence, 
for many good and noble ends; his 
enemies themselves being made to lay 
the foundation of his greatness. Dan. 
6. Mordecai had the same experience. 
His ruin was devised by the murder- 
ous tongue of Haman (Esther 3:6); 
but the Lord returned his wickedness 
upon his own head, and his bloody 
machinations only hastened the de- 
struction of their contriver. Esther 7; 
10. Therefore, "commit thy way un- 
to the Lord: trust also in him, and he 
shall bring it to pass. And he shall 
bring forth thy righteousness as the 
light, and thy judgment as the noon- 
day." Ps. 37 : 5, 6. Only endeavor to 
be in constant union with the Lord 
thy God, and to love him with all thy 
heart, and then he will direct thy 
steps. For " when a man's ways please 
the Lord, he maketh even his enemies 
to be at peace with him." Prov. 16:7. 
If the world be permitted to stain thy 
reputation here, and to detract from 
thy honor, what matters it, provided 
the Lord dignify thee with a crown 
of glory hereafter ? It is he that will 
deliver and honor thee at last (Ps. 91 :. 
15); and it is he that will give thee- 
both grace here, and glory hereafter. 
Ps. 84 : 11. 

11. (8) Another comfort in trials 
of this nature, may be drawn from 
the control which the Lord exercises 
over the hearts of all men. It is he 
that "looks upon all the inhabitants 
of the earth, from the place of his 
habitation." He "fashioneth their 
hearts; he considereth all their 
works" (Ps. 33 : 14, 15); and he "will 



15 






226 



TRUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



not deliver thee unto the will of thine 
enemies.'' Ps. 41 : 2. A man is often 
transported with rage and malice to 
such a degree, that he would bear 
down all that comes in his way; but 
a little while after, you will find that 
the man is altogether cooled; his heat 
is allayed, and he is reduced to such a 
moderation of temper, as if he were 
become quite another man. Nay, how 
often do we see that a bad man, de- 
signing nothing but spite and malice, 
is stopped in the midst of his passion- 
ate pursuit, and, as it were, obliged 
not only to drop his wicked design, 
but also to bestow tokens of favor 
upon the person whom he was about 
to affront. This is an operation pe- 
culiar to the wisdom of God, who, by 
his secret power, often renders abor- 
tive the most malicious projects con- 
ceived against his children. Thus the 
Lord came to Laban, when incensed 
against Jacob, and commanded him to 
" speak not to him, either good or bad/' 
Gen. 31 : 24. And Esau, who bore his 
brother no good will, when he came 
within sight of him, must needs run 
and meet him, embrace him, fall on 
his neck, kiss him, and receive him 
with the most endearing expressions 
of love and kindness. Gen. 33 : 4. 

12. (9) Lastly, it is the nature of a 
malignant tongue, to swell high sud- 
denly, and by rage and fury to gain 
universal applause and admiration ; 
but its downfall is as sudden as its 
rise. Calumny is like a fire, the flame 
of which mounts up to the very sky ; 
but the want of fuel will soon make 
it go down again. The reason is, be- 
cause God, who is the everlasting s 
Truth, hates a spirit of lies, and can- 
not endure it. And this is also the 
reason, why those that have raised 
their greatness on no other foundation 
than lying and self-conceit, may in- 



deed dazzle the eyes of others for a 
season; but when they flatter them- 
selves as fixed in an unshaken condi- 
tion, then generally their ruin is ready 
at hand, and the Lord's judgment de- 
stroys all. Then " the lying lips are 
put to silence, which spoke grievous 
things proudly and contemptuously 
against the righteous" (Ps. 31 : 18) ; 
a text which plainly shows, that pride 
and disdain of others, are wont to 
accompany a slandering and lying 
tongue. But " woe unto thee that 
dealest treacherously; when thou shalt 
make an end to deal treacherously, 
they shall deal treacherously with 
thee." Isa. 33 :1. "For the rod of the 
wicked shall not rest upon the lot of 
the righteous; lest the righteous put 
forth their hands unto iniquity." Ps. 
125 : 3. Though a treacherous man 
may go on in quest of more honor and 
greatness; yet shall "evil hunt the 
violent man at last, and overthrow 
him." Ps. 140 : 11. 

Sundry consolatory passages, selected from the 
Psalms, for those who are assailed by the re- 
proaches of enemies. 

13. Thou, O Lord, art a shield for 
me; my glory, and the lifter up of 
mine head. Arise, O Lord; save me, 
O my God : for thou hast smitten all 
mine enemies upon the cheek-bone; 
thou hast broken the teeth of the un- 
godly. Ps. 3 : 3, 7. — O ye sons of men, 
how long will ye turn my glory into 
shame? how long will ye love vanity, 
and seek after leasing (lying) ? But 
know that the Lord hath set apart 
him that is godly for himself; the 
Lord will hear when I call unto him. 
Ps. 4 : 2, 3. 

14. Thou shalt destroy them that 
speak leasing: the Lord will abhor 
the bloody and deceitful man. — There 
is no faithfulness in their mouth ; their 



Chap. XVII.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



227 



inward part is very wickedness ; their 
throat is an open sepulchre; they flat- 
ter with their tongue. Destroy thou 
them, O God; let them fall by their 
own counsels. — But let all those that 
put their trust in thee rejoice : let them 
also that love thy name be joyful in 
thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bliss the 
righteous ; with favor wilt thou com- 
pass him as with a shield. Ps. 5 : 6, 
9, 10, 11, 12. 

15. Let all mine enemies be ashamed 
and sore vexed : let them return and 
be ashamed suddenly. Ps. 6 : 10. 

16. O Lord, my God, in thee do I 
put my trust : save me from all them 
that persecute me, and deliver me: 
lest he tear my soul like a lion, rend- 
ing it in pieces, while there is none to 
deliver. — Behold, he travaileth with 
iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, 
and brought forth falsehood. He made 
a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into 
the ditch which he made. His mis- 
chief shall return upon his own head, 
and his violent dealing shall come 
down upon his own pate. Ps. 7 : 1, 2, 
14, 15, 16. 

17. Keep me as the apple of the 
eye ; hide me under the shadow of thy 
wings, from the wicked that oppress 
me, from my deadly enemies, who 
compass me about. Ps. 17 : 8, 9. 

18. I will call upon the Lord, who 
is worthy to be praised : so shall I be 
saved from mine enemies. — In my dis- 
tress I called upon the Lord, and cried 
unto my God ; he heard my voice out 
of his temple, and my cry came before 
him, even unto his ears. Ps. 18 : 3, 6. 

19. The Lord is my light and my 
salvation; whom shall I fear? the 
Lord is the strength of my life; of 
whom shall I be afraid? When the 
wicked, even mine enemies and my 
foes, came upon me to eat up my 
flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though 



a host should encamp against me, my 
heart shall not fear : though war should 
rise against me, in this will I be confi- 
dent. — For in the time of trouble he 
shall hide me in his pavilion : in the 
secret of his tabernacle shall he hide 
me; he shall set me up upon a rock. — 
Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead 
me in a plain path, because of mine 
enemies. — For false witnesses are risen 
up against me, and such as breathe 
out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I 
had believed to see the goodness of 
the Lord in the land of the living. 
Wait on the Lord. Ps. 27 : 1, 2, 3, 5, 
11, 12, 13, 14. 

20. But I trusted in thee, O Lord : 
I said, Thou art my God. My times 
are in thy hand : deliver me from the 
hand of mine enemies, and from them 
that persecute me. — Let the lying lips 
be put to silence; which speak grievous 
things proudly and contemptuously 
against the righteous. — Oh how great 
is thy goodness, which thou hast laid 
up for them that fear thee; which thou 
hast wrought for them that trust in 
thee before the sons of men ! Thou 
shalt hide them in the secret of thy 
presence from the pride of man : thou 
shalt keep them secretly in a pavil- 
ion from the strife of tongues. Ps. 
31 : 14, 15, 18, 19, 20. 

21. Let them be as chaff before the 
wind : and let the angel of the Lord 
chase them. Let their way be dark 
and slippery : and let the angel of the 
Lord persecute them. Ps. 35 : 5, 6. 

22. Fret not thyself because of evil 
doers, neither be thou envious against 
the workers of iniquity. Forthey shall 
soon be cut down like the grass, and 
wither as the green herb. — The wicked 
plotteth against the just, and gnasheth 
upon him with his teeth. The Lord 
shall laugh at him : for he seeth that 
his day is coming. The wicked have 



228 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



drawn out the sword, and have bent 
their bow, to cast down the poor and 
needy, and to slay such as be of up- 
right conversation. Their sword shall 
enter into their own heart, and their 
bows shall be broken. — The wicked 
watcheth the righteous, and seeketh 
to slay him. The Lord will not leave 
him in his hand, nor condemn him 
when be is judged. — I have seen the 
wicked in great power, and spreading 
himself like a green bay tree. Yet he 
passed away, and, lo, he was not : yea, 
I sought him, but he could not be 
found. Ps. 37 : 1, 2, 12, 13, 14, 15, 32, 
33, 35, 36. 

23. But I, as a deaf man, heard not ; 
and I was as a dumb man that openeth 
not his mouth. Then I was as a man 
that heareth not, and in whose mouth 
are no reproofs. — For I am ready to 
halt, and my sorrow is continually 
before me. Ps. 38 : 13, 14, 17. 

24. I was dumb with silence, I held 
my peace, even from good^ and my 
sorrow was stirred. — I was dumb, I 
opened not my mouth; because thou 
didst it. — For I am a stranger with 
thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers 
were. Ps. 39 : 2, 9, 12. 

25. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, 
and he shall sustain thee : he shall 
never suffer the righteous to be moved. 
But thou, O God, shalt bring them 
down into the pit of destruction : 
bloody and deceitful men shall not 
live out half their days; but I will 
trust in thee. Ps. 55 : 22, 23. 

26. Be merciful unto me, O God, be 
merciful unto me ; for my soul trusteth 
in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy 
wings will I make my refuge, until 
these calamities be overpast. I will 
cry unto God most high; unto God 
that performeth all things for me. He 
shall send from heaven, and save me 
from the reproach of him that would 



swallow me up. God shall send forth 
his mercy and his truth. My soul is 
among lions: and I lie even among 
them that are set on fire, even the 
sons of men, whose teeth are spears 
and arrows, and their tongue a sharp 
sword. Be thou exalted, O God, above 
the heavens; let thy glory be above 
all the earth. They have prepared a 
net for my steps; my soul is bowed 
down : they have digged a pit before 
me, into the midst whereof they are 
fallen themselves. My heart is fixed, 
O God, my heart is fixed : I will sing 
and give praise. Awake up, my glory ; 
awake, psaltery and harp: I myself 
will awake early. I will praise thee, 
O Lord, among the people: I will sing 
unto thee among the nations. For thy 
mercy is great unto the heavens, and 
thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou 
exalted, O God, above the heavens: 
let thy glory be above all the earth. 
Ps. 57 : 1-11. 

27. Preserve my life from fear of 
the enemy; who whet their tongue 
like a sword, and bend their bows to 
shoot their arrows, even bitter words ; 
that they may shoot in secret at the 
perfect : suddenly do they shoot at 
him, and fear not. — But God shall 
shoot at them with an arrow; sud- 
denly shall they be wounded. So 
shall they make their own tongue to 
fall upon themselves : all that see them 
shall flee away. Ps. 64 : 1, 3, 4, 7, 8. 

28. Mine enemies speak against me ; 
and they that lay wait for my soul take 
counsel together, saying, God hath for- 
saken him; persecute and take him; 
for there is none to deliver him. — I 
will go in the strength of the Lord 
God: I will make mention of thy 
righteousness, even of thine only. 
God, thou hast taught me from my 
youth : and hitherto have I declared 
thy wondrous works. Now also when 



Chap. XVII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



229 



I am old and gray-headed, God, for- 
sake me not ; until I have shewed thy 
strength unto this generation, and thy 
power to every one that is to come. — 
Thou, which hast shewed me great 
and sore troubles, shalt quicken me 
again, and shalt bring me up again 
from the depths of the earth. Thou 
shalt increase my greatness, and com- 
fort me on every side. Ps. 71 : 10, 11, 
16,17,18,20,21. 

29. I will lift up mine eyes unto the 
hills, from whence cometh my help. 
My help cometh from the Lord, which 
made heaven and earth. He will not 
suffer thy foot to be moved : he that 
keepeth thee will not slumber. Be- 
hold, he that keepeth Israel shall 
neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord 
is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade 
upon thy right hand. The sun shall 
not smite thee by day, nor the moon 
by night. The Lord shall preserve 
thee from all evil : he shall preserve 
thy soul. The Lord shall preserve 
thy going out and thy coming in from 
this time forth, and even for evermore. 
Ps. 121 : 1-8. 

30. Deliver me, O Lord, from the 
evil man : preserve me from the vio- 
lent man j which imagine mischiefs in 
their heart ; continually are they gath- 
ered together for war. They have 
sharpened their tongues like a ser- 
pent: adders' poison is under their 
lips. Keep me, O Lord, from the 
hands of the wicked ; preserve me 
from the violent man; who have pur- 
posed to overthrow my goings. The 
proud have hid a snare for me, and 
cords; they have spread a net by the 
way side ; they have set gins for me. 
I said unto the Lord, Thou art my 



God : hear the voice of my supplica- 
tions, O Lord. O God, the Lord, the 
strength of my salvation, thou hast 
covered my head in the day of battle. 
Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the 
wicked: further not his wicked device ; 
lest they exalt themselves. As for the 
head of those that compass me about, 
let the mischief of their own lips cover 
them. Let burning coals fall upon 
them; let them be cast into the fire; 
into deep pits, that they rise not up 
again. Let not an evil speaker be 
established in the earth : evil shall 
hunt the violent man to overthrow 
him. I know that the Lord will 
maintain the cause of the afflicted, 
and the right of the poor. Surely 
the righteous shall give thanks unto 
thy name : the upright shall dwell in 
thy presence. Ps. 140 : 1-13. 

31. I cried unto the Lord with my 
voice ; with my voice unto the Lord did 
I make my supplication. I poured out 
my complaint before him ; I shewed be- 
fore him my trouble. When my spirit 
was overwhelmed within me, then thou 
knewest my path. In the way wherein 
I walked have they privily laid a snare 
for me. I looked on my right hand, 
and beheld, but there was no man that 
would know me : refuge failed me ; no 
man cared for my soul. I cried unto 
thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my 
refuge and my portion in the land of 
the living. Attend unto my cry; for 
I am brought very low : deliver me 
from my persecutors; for they are 
stronger than I. Bring my soul out 
of prison, that I may praise thy name : 
the righteous shall compass me about : 
for thou shalt deal bountifully with 
me. Ps. 142:1-7. 



230 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



SHOWING HOW THE SORROWS AND PAINS OF CHRIST SHOULD TEACH US TO 
SUBDUE THE LUSTS OF THE FLESH. 



My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. — Matt. 26 : 38. 



THE third branch of the cross of 
Christ consists in the unspeakable 
sorrow and sufferings which began at 
his very birth. For as his most holy 
human soul was filled with the light 
of divine knowledge and wisdom, by 
virtue of the personal union of his two 
natures, he saw all that he should ex- 
perience in the future, as if it were 
already present; and thus his soul 
was, from the beginning, filled with 
the deepest sorrow, and suffered in- 
ward pain. He foresaw his future in- 
conceivable and inexpressible agony 
of soul, and his unspeakable bodily 
pains. For the more delicate, pure, 
and innocent, the human nature in 
Christ was, the greater were the pain 
and anguish that affected him. Of 
this those sorrows and spiritual tor- 
ments, that are wont to work upon 
the inmost soul, are a sufficient proof. 
For inasmuch as the constitution of 
the soul, by reason of its immortality, 
exceeds that of the body in worth and 
delicacy ; so also her pains exceed those 
of the body in depth and acuteness. 
For this reason the Lord never rejoiced 
upon his own account, and with refer- 
ence only to himself; but it was when 
he saw that his Heavenly Father was 
known and worshipped, and his divine 
works manifested unto the world. 
Hence "he rejoiced in spirit " at the 
return of the seventy disciples. Luke 
10:21. 

2. Since all those things, which he 
was to suffer, from his own people and 



countrymen, were known to him, he 
could not but be highly afflicted and 
in constant sorrow ; and this was also 
still more the case, the more nearly he 
approached the time appointed for his 
passion. This he himself testifies, say- 
ing, "I have a baptism to be baptized 
with, and how am I straitened till it 
be accomplished !" Luke 12 : 50. And 
the time of this baptism being come, 
he says, "My soul is exceeding sor- 
rowful, even unto death " (Matt. 26 : 
38): intimating thereby the excessive 
and unutterable grief and anguish of 
spirit, that forced from him that 
sweat, which " was as it were great 
drops of blood. " Luke 22:44. And 
what pains he suffered besides, in his 
tender and sensible body, no tongue 
can sufficiently declare. First, be- 
cause sin is an infinite and inexpres- 
sible evil. For, its full punishment 
and atonement could not but cause 
torment so exquisite, that to a mere 
man it had been altogether insup- 
portable. 

3. The second reason of this exqui- 
site grief was, because he bore the sins 
of the world : not merely those sins 
which from the beginning of the 
world had been committed, but those 
also which men should become guilty 
of through all ages, down to the very 
end of the world. And, therefore, 
such as are the number and malignity 
of all sins, of all men, through all gen- 
erations ; such also were the pain and 
sorrow endured by the Lord. For 



Chap. XVIII.] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



231 



which cause he prayed in Gethsemane, 
" O my Father, if it be possible, let 
this cup pass from me." Matt. 26 : 39. 

4. Thirdly, the sufferings of Christ 
were heightened by that perfect love 
which he bore to his heavenly Father. 
The greater our love is, the greater is 
also the grief occasioned by what in- 
terferes with it: as on the contrary, 
the less it is, the less are we troubled 
by that which thwarts it. Since, 
therefore, Christ loved his heavenly 
Father with most exalted and consum- 
mate love, his affliction must needs 
have been the more grievous, on ac- 
count of the heinousness of sin, with 
which fallen men so shamefully in- 
sulted so beloved a Father. Hence 
the sins of the whole world, with the 
pains he endured for them, did not so 
much affect him, as the sorrow he 
felt on account of the indignity offered 
to a God, who, in his very nature, is 
love itself. And it was upon account 
of this love of the Father (which de- 
served all the returns of love the crea- 
ture was able to make), that Christ 
sustained most exquisite pains, and a 
most ignominious death; in order that 
by a satisfaction proportionable to the 
offence, he might regain for wretched 
mortals that love and favor of God 
which they had forfeited by their of- 
fences. 

5. In the fourth place, the suffering 
of Christ was endured on account of 
his perfect love to mankind. For as 
he died for all, and bore the sins of all, 
so also was he exceedingly desirous to 
see the object of his death accom- 
plished, which is the salvation of all 
men. Hence the unbelief and impeni- 
tence of men, which hindered this love 
from taking effect upon sinners, caused 
him most grievous and bitter torments: 
but especially was he pained that they 
threw away their souls when he de- 



sired to save them. Not to mention 
the cruel hatred and envy, wrath and 
blasphemy, by which some were hur- 
ried on, even to trample on that blood 
which was designed to redeem them. 
He himself says, " Eeproach hath bro- 
ken my heart" (Ps. 69 : 20) ; lament- 
ing not so much his own, as the con- 
dition of them who reproached him in 
so heinous a manner, 

6. Fifthly: another circumstance 
which pierced the very heart of our 
Lord, was his being forsaken of God, 
notwithstanding he was the Son of 
God himself. For though it is true 
that God could not forsake him, who. 
himself was God, and did not cease to 
be God even when he hung on the 
cross, when he expired, and when he 
was buried ; yet does he complain of 
being forsaken by him. Ps. 22 : 1 ; 
Matt. 27 : 46. But this lamentable 
complaint the Lord poured out, in 
order to show that God withdrew 
from him, as a man, the support of his 
comfort, hiding. himself for a while in 
this dark hour. He manifests also, 
by this exclamation, the extreme mis- 
ery in which he then was. 

7. The sixth aggravation of the an- 
guish of Christ, was on account of his 
Person, for he was very God. Whence 
it is plain, that all the reproaches and 
blasphemies uttered against him were 
an infinite evil, as being directed 
against the entire Person of Christ, 
who was true God and man ; and so 
he endured, both as God and man, the 
revilings of his enemies in his whole 
Person. All this left a most exqui- 
site impression of sorrow upon his. 
soul. 

8. And, in the seventh place, who is 
able sufficiently to explain what pains- 
the Lord suffered in his most innocent, 
most holy, most tender, and delicate 
body ? Or who can doubt that a body 



252 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



most innocent, most delicate, most 
noble, most pure, conceived by the 
Holy Ghost, personally united with 
the divine nature, filled with the Spirit 
of God, and with all the fulness of the 
Godhead ; I say, who can doubt that 
such a body should not feel most griev- 
ous and bitter pains, when smitten, 
scourged, wounded, pierced, crucified, 
and put to death ? No words are suf- 
ficiently expressive to set forth the 
pain and acuteness thereof. What is 
-all our affliction, if compared with this 
suffering of the Lord ? "We, as sin- 
ners, have justly deserved eternal 
death and damnation ; and yet even 
the smallest cross is too heavy a 
burden for tender Christians, who do 
what they can to shake it off, though 
it is designed as wholesome medicine, 
to procure the health of the soul. 
Surely, he who is a sincere lover of 
Christ, can wish no other condition 
of life, but such as comes up nearest 
to the original of the blessed life of 
Christ. 1 Peter 2 : 21. This conform- 
ity of our lives to the life of Christ 
we ought to account our greatest gain 
and dignity in this world. Let the 
true lover of Christ rejoice in this, 
that he has been thought worthy to 



suffer with Christ, his Head and Sav- 
iour. 

9. Since, then, affliction is to be the 
companion of a Christian in his way 
to heaven, or, to use the apostle's 
phrase, since he must, "through much 
tribulation, enter into the kingdom of 
God" (Acts 14:22); what cause can 
we assign why we should not wil- 
lingly walk in the same path ? For 
we know that the Son of God himself 
travelled this way before us, and by 
his holy example sanctified it, not 
having " entered into his glory but by 
sufferings." Luke 24 : 26. And since, 
notwithstanding all the insults of the 
enemy, he entered into glory at last; 
we may also assure ourselves, that our 
affliction, which is but for a moment, 
shall be followed in the end by an 
everlasting weight of glory and hap- 
piness. 2 Cor. 4 : 17. 

10. In fine, as the Lord did not 
spare himself, but devoted himself en- 
tirely to the service of others, under- 
going all from no other impulse than 
fervent love and charity ; so this love 
of our Eedeemer should awaken love 
in our souls, and never should we grow 
faint and weary under any affliction 
whatever. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

-SHOWING HOW WE SHOULD BEHOLD IN THE CRUCIFIED CHRIST, AS IN THE BOOK 
OF LIFE, BOTH OUR SINS, AND ALSO THE DISPLEASURE, THE LOVE, JUSTICE, 
AND WISDOM OF GOD. 

.And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back 

side. — Key. 5:1. 



C HEIST crucified is set before our 
eyes as a Book of Life, whence 
*we may learn the sacred wisdom of 
^God, which is in him eminently dis- 



played. For the whole Scripture, the 
Law and all the prophets, are com- 
pletely fulfilled in him by his most 
perfect obedience, wherein he was 



Chap. XIX.] 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



233 



faithful even unto death, and suffered 
the most cruel torments for the sins 
of the world. And this perfect inter- 
nal and external obedience and suffer- 
ing, is that Book of Life written with- 
in and without. Eev. 5 : 1. 

2. In the first place, the Crucified 
Jesus presents us with a deplorable 
sight of our sins, both as to their num- 
ber and heinousness. By the lament- 
able complaint into which he burst 
forth, he manifested that inward an- 
guish of soul, which he suffered for 
the hidden and secret sins of our 
hearts. In his wounded and mangled 
body, bleeding on the cross, he leads 
us to behold and read, as in a book, 
the malignity of those sins which we 
have committed by all our members, 
in having yielded them up to the gov- 
ernment of lust. 

3. Besides this, the devout soul may 
behold in Christ Crucified, the justice 
of God in judging sinners. There was 
no other means by which to remove 
both our sin and the punishment at- 
tending it, than this high atonement 
made by the Lord himself. And 
hence we may learn that God is so 
far from letting any sin go unpunished, 
that he will rather deliver up his most 
beloved Son unto death than connive 
at the transgression of a sinner. Eom. 
4:25. 

4. Hence the soul may, further, con- 
template the infinite love and con- 
descending mercy of the Heavenly 
Father, most wonderfully displayed 
in our Crucified Saviour. Eather than 
that we should forever perish in our 
wretched state, and be subject to eter- 
nal death and damnation, he would 
have his own Son make satisfaction 
for us ; which we ourselves, yea, and 
all the other creatures besides, had 
never been able to perform. 

5. The contemplation of Christ Cru- 



cified will, in the next place, lead us 
to a sight of the most gracious will, 
providence and fatherly care of God, 
as it respects the recovery of lost man- 
kind. No opposition was so great, no 
difficulty so stubborn and obstinate, 
which he did not conquer by his be- 
loved Son, the author of our salvation. 
That we might inherit everlasting joy, 
he left nothing untried, nor did he 
spare even his own Son. 

6. In the same Book of Life (the 
Crucified Jesus), appears also the infi- 
nite wisdom of God, namely, in finding 
out a means of salvation, such as could 
never have entered into the thoughts 
of any creature whatever, and which, 
at the same time, revealed both the jus- 
tice and the mercy of God. For the 
work of our salvation was so wisely or- 
dered, that by manifesting the infinite 
mercy of God, his justice was not at all 
infringed ; as, on the other hand, Christ 
by his death has so atoned for sin, 
that in satisfying the claims of strict 
justice, his infinite mercy is rendered 
more bright and conspicuous. And as 
by eating of the forbidden tree, the 
first Adam (Gen. 3 : 1), brought us 
under the curse ; so God in his marvel- 
lous wisdom has, by the tree of the 
cross, taken away the curse, and re- 
stored his blessing. 1 Peter 2 : 24. 
Yea, by the unsearchable counsel of 
the divine wisdom, it is so brought 
about, that through the death of Christ, 
all things detained under the power 
of death are restored to life, death it- 
self being destroyed at last. 1 Cor. 15: 
26. By his pains and torments is pur- 
chased for us eternal pleasure in hea- 
ven ', by his griefs and sorrows are 
gained joys celestial without end. And 
by this wonderful work of God, though 
foolish in the eye of the world, he hath 
confounded the wisdom of the wise; 
and by the foolishness of God (1 Cor. 



234 



TKXJE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



1 : 25), he has manifested a wisdom al- 
together unfathomable to men. 

7. In Christ Crucified farther ap- 
pears the brightest and fairest pattern 
of patience and meekness that was 
ever seen. So far was he from re- 
venging the injuries done him, that he 
made intercession to his Father for his 
revilers, yea, even laid down his life 
for the sins of those who put him to 
death. 

8. The believer discovers, moreover, 
in Christ the most astonishing humil- 
ity, wherein he was so eminent, that 
he readily underwent the most igno- 
minious death of the cross. Thus are 
the death and passion of Christ be- 
come to a faithful soul, redemption 
from hell, an avenue into paradise, a 
complete reconciliation with God, a 
victory over the devil, that great en- 



emy of souls ; a full satisfaction for 
sins, and in one word, an entire recov- 
ery of that original righteousness 
which had been lost. 

9. By all this, it sufficiently appears 
to a Christian soul, that Christ Cruci- 
fied is indeed a Book of Life, teaching 
nothing but the eternal and infallible 



truths of God. Let us then silent 



y 



sit down at the feet of our Crucified 
Lord, who, as the great Teacher of 
souls, and Book of Life, will not ne- 
glect to instil into an humble heart, 
the lesson of a living faith, and of a 
holy life consequent on it ; provided 
we desire to be not dead, but living 
members of his body, and to be so 
controlled and influenced both by his 
life and his death, as to produce abun- 
dant living fruits. 



CHAPTER XX. 



OF THE POWER AND NECESSITY OF PRAYER, IN THESE HOLY CONTEMPLATIONS. 



I will seek him whom my soul loveth. — Song of Sol. 3 : 2. 



SINCE the living knowledge of God 
and of Christ crucified, is not to be 
attained, unless we keep our eye con- 
stantly fixed upon the innocent and 
holy life of Jesus Christ our Lord; and 
since we cannot arrive at this eleva- 
tion of mind, but by devout, humble, 
believing and earnest prayer; it is, 
therefore, highly necessary to make 
some further inquiry into the nature 
of pra} r er. It consists not so much in 
an utterance of words, as in a medita- 
tion or intercourse of the believing 
heart with God, and in a lifting up of 
the soul, and of all her faculties and 
powers, to our Heavenly Father. Ps. 



19: 14; 25:1. As it is impossible to 
find God without prayer, so prayer 
is a means for seeking and finding 
him. Matt. 7 : 7, 8. 

2. And as it falls under a threefold 
denomination, it being either oral, in- 
ternal, or supernatural (according to 
St. Paul: "I will pray with the spirit, 
and I will pray with the understand- 
ing also;" 1 Cor. 14: 15); so we shall 
now consider each of these in order. 

3. Oral prayer is an humble address 
to God, and an external exercise, 
which conducts the soul to the internal 
duty of prayer, and leads man into 
the interior recesses of his own heart; 



Chap. XX.] 



TEUE CHEISTIANITY. 



235 



especially if the words uttered be di- 
gested in faith, and if, by attentive 
application, they be well pondered 
and considered. This often proves a 
means of elevating the spirit and soul 
so near unto God, as to enjoy with 
faith a truly filial intercourse with 
Him, our heavenly Father. 

4. Internal prayer is offered up with- 
out intermission, in faith, spirit, and 
mind, according to the words of our 
Saviour : " The true worshippers shall 
worship the Father in spirit and in 
truth" (John 4 : 23) ; also those of Da- 
vid : " Let the meditation of my heart 
be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord." 
Ps. 19 : 14. And again : "I commune 
with mine own heart, and my spirit 
made diligent search." Ps. 77 : 6. 
Hereby, says St. Paul (speaking of 
the Spirit of adoption), we cry, Abba, 
Father. Eom. 8 : 15. By this internal 
prayer, we are led on gradually to 
that which is supernatural ; which, ac- 
cording to Tauler, " consists in a true 
union with God by faith ; when our 
created spirit dissolves, as it were, and 
sinks away in the uncreated Spirit of 
God. It is then that all is transacted 
in a moment, which in words or deeds 
has been done by all the saints from 
the beginning of the world." For this 
reason this supernatural prayer is un- 
speakably more excellent than that 
which is chiefly external; for therein 
the soul is by true faith so replenished 
with the divine love, that it can think 
of nothing else but of God only. Or if 
another thought should enter inadvert- 
ently into the heart, it proves but an 
occasion of trouble and sorrow ; and 
the soul cannot be at ease till the in- 
truding thought has again vanished. 
A soul that has once arrived at this 
happy state gives but little or no em- 
ployment to the tongue : it is silent 
before the Lord : it panteth and thirst- 



eth after God (Ps. 42 : 1, 2) : it long- 
eth, yea, even fainteth for him (Ps. 
63 : 1 ; 84 : 2). It loves him only ; it 
rests in him alone, not at all mind- 
ing the world, nor worldly affairs. 
Whence it is still more and more filled 
with an experimental knowledge of 
God, and with such love and joy as no 
tongue is able to utter. Whatever 
the soul then perceives, is beyond all 
possibility of being expressed in words. 
If one should ask a soul under these 
contemplations : What dost thou per- 
ceive f the answer would be : A good 
that is above all good. What seest 
thou? A perfection of beauty, tran- 
scending all other beauty. What feel- 
est thou f A joy surpassing all joys. 
What dost thou taste? The inexpres- 
sible delight of love. Nay, such a one 
would tell you that all the words that 
possibly could be framed, were but a 
shadow, and came infinitely short of 
the inward delight which was ex- 
perienced. This is the voice of the 
eternal Word; this His speech to a 
loving soul; according to that saying 
of the Lord : "He that loveth me — I 
will manifest myself unto him." John 
14 : 21. Whatever is felt here, what- 
ever is seen here, is above nature. 
Here voices are heard, and words per- 
ceived that are termed words of the 
understanding and the mind. 

5. This is the school in which the 
soul learns to know God aright, and, 
as it were, to taste him. Ps. 34 : 8. 
Whilst she knows him, she loves him: 
and whilst she loves him, she longs for 
the full enjoyment of him. This is 
the true sign of love, to desire wholly 
to possess the beloved object, to be in- 
timately united with, and altogether 
transformed into it. 

6. This the soul now and then per- 
ceives in a glance, which lasts but for 
a moment, and then vanishes again; 



236 



TBUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



but it pulp the soul upon fervent de- 
sires, to recover, if possible, that beam 
of heavenly joy which darted upon 
her, and to regain this divine taste, 
which so lovingly moved her. And 
she desires all this, in order to be more 
intimately united to her beloved. 
From this affectionate desire spring 
up both internal and oral prayer; the 
soul being fully convinced that these 
heavenly pleasures and visitations are 
to be attained only by prayer. And in 
all this, the wonderful wisdom of God 
appears, by which everything is man- 
aged in the most perfect order. 

7. Thus none is permitted to attain 
unto mental prayer, but he who be- 
gins with that which is oral; and none 
can have an access to the supernatural 
prayer, or to a union with the highest 
and most delightful Good, but by men- 
tal prayer. But this highest can only 
be known by an experimental percep- 
tion, not expressible by words. 

8. And this is the cause why God 
so strictly, so frequently, and so earn- 
estly enjoins prayer (Ps. 50 : 14) ; be- 
cause it is a sacred pledge and bond, 
by which God draws us up to himself; 
and by elevating us into his immediate 
presence, detains us there a while, and 
unites us with himself, who is the 
source of all that is good. And thus 
we are always reminded of him ; with- 
out this gracious order, we would think 
less frequently on him, and would not 
share in the gifts of his mercy. 

9. If, therefore, thou desirest that 
thy prayer be acceptable to God, see 
that thou perform it not with a divided, 
but with a whole and entire heart. 
But this is not to be attained, except 
by frequent exercise and continual 
and unwearied application. Without 
this, thou canst not reap the fruits of 
prayer. On the contrary, as often as 
thou givest attendance to any exter- 



nal work, take care that thou set not 
thy heart wholly upon it. If thou 
eatest and drinkest, or attendest to 
any other outward affair incident to 
this life, see that thou bestow not 
thyself, that is, thy whole heart, upon 
it. For thy heart is to rest entirely 
in God alone, and closely to adhere to 
him by internal prayer. The more 
thou offerest up thyself to God by this 
prayer, the more will the divine light 
display itself in thy mind. And again, 
the more the knowledge of God is 
enlarged, the more delightful will be 
thy sense and perception of the high- 
est good; the more ardent also and 
affectionate will be thy love to the 
Lord; and in fine, the more capable 
wilt thou be of enjoying him. The 
soul thus disposed will in a super- 
natural manner taste of a happiness 
so high and transcendent as infinitely 
to exceed all the language and expres- 
sions of men. 

10. Of this threefold prayer, Jesus 
Christ himself has furnished us with 
a bright and perfect pattern, whence 
we may learn the nature and method 
of it, if we but attentively consider 
his manner of praying. We find that 
he often continued whole days and 
nights in prayer to God. Luke 6 : 12. 
He prayed with a fervency that made 
him triumph in prayer, and rejoice in 
spirit. Luke 10 : 21. He has, there- 
fore, both by example and words, 
taught us the method of praying; 
and leaving us a pattern to follow, 
has commanded us to watch and 
pray, that we enter not into tempta- 
tion. Matt. 6 : 9. He also most fre- 
quently recommends to us the duty 
of prayer (Matt. 26 : 41) ; thereby tes- 
tifying that nothing was more pleasing, 
nothing more acceptable to him than 
our prayer; he having enjoined it 
for no other reason than to show 



Chap. XX.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



237 



us how entirely he loved us, and how 
desirous he was that by prayer we 
should partake of the highest and 
most precious good. 

11. Lest, however, we should allege 
that so noble an effect as that which 
results from a due performance of 
prayer was not attainable by us, the 
Lord did not think it enough to say: 
" Ask," but he has encouraged us also 
with a promise annexed : " And ye 
shall receive, that your joy may be 
full." John 16 : 24. He moreover ex- 
cites us to pray by his own example, 
for amid his sufferings he prayed for 
us, as the Evangelist records : " For 
being in an agony, he prayed more 
earnestly, and his sweat was as it 
were great drops of blood falling down 
to the ground." Luke 22 : 44. 

12. Set, therefore, this mirror of 
prayer before thine eyes, and study 
to persevere therein. Whenever thou 
feelest thyself faint and weak in 
prayer, then seriously advert to thy 
Lord Jesus Christ, who prayed not for 
himself, or upon his own account, but 
for thee and upon thy account, and thus 
sanctified thy prayer and blessed it, 
and added life and efficacy to it. Him, 
therefore, behold, who, though he was 
true God, and consequently in actual 
possession of all things, yet as man, 
obtained for thee of his Heavenly 
Father, all things by prayer. And 
hence as his whole life was a continual 
and uninterrupted prayer, and a per- 
petual longing to do the will of God : 
so he finished it with praying upon the 
cross. Luke 23 : 46. 

13. If then thy Lord and Saviour 
prayed so fervently upon thy account, 
and was heard ; surely he will not suf- 
fer thy prayers to be poured forth in 
vain. Did be procure all things for 
thee by prayer ? And thinkest thou 
that thou canst obtain the least bless- 



ing without it? Thou knowest that 
without divine grace, light, and knowl- 
edge, and, in fine, without faith, not 
one can be saved; but it is no less 
plain that these and, all other graces 
can be obtained by prayer alone. It 
is the Lord whom thou must entreat 
by fervent prayer, so as to obtain from 
him faith, love, hope, humility, pa- 
tience, the Holy Spirit, together with 
the whole train of Christian virtues, 
which he is both able and willing to 
give, as well as to strengthen in thy 
soul. It is He alone that createth 
them in the heart. But as he that 
hath them not, cannot give them, so 
the Lord, whose gift they are, will 
not give them without being asked. 

14. If then thou art truly desirous 
of pouring out thy soul before the 
Lord in fervency of spirit, there is 
not a more ready and effectual means 
of doing this than with the eyes of 
thy mind to behold the mirror of the 
most meek and humble life of Christ: 
to keep thy eyes attentively fixed up- 
on the poverty, the reproach and con- 
tempt, the griefs and sorrows, and the 
most ignominious death of thy blessed 
Redeemer. Into this Book of Prayer, 
if thou diligently look, thy heart and 
mind will become inflamed with most 
affectionate and ardent desires. And 
though the devil and the flesh will not 
cease to assault thee with temptations 
on all hands, yet, by means of prayer, 
they shall be subdued at last. 

15. Nor is the duty of prayer only 
stirred up and revived by the contem- 
plation of Christ crucified, but the 
heart is also cleansed thereby. With- 
out this purification of the heart by 
faith (Acts 15 : 9), our prayers will 
prove altogether ineffectual in the 
sight of God : whereas, after a sincere 
application to the Lord by prayer, the 
Spirit of God is wont to visit the heart 



238 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



with his gracious presence, as he de- 
scended upon the apostles, even then, 
when they were with one accord pray- 
ing at Pentecost. Acts 2 : 1. 

16. With reference to the tempta- 
tions that are wont to attend the duty 
of prayer, thou must behave thyself 
under them as the Lord himself did. 
In the midst of the agony which he 
suffered on the mount of Olives, " he 
prayed the more earnestly." Luke 
22 : 44. Thus thy prayer shall prove 
at last the victory over all thy ene- 
mies. By prayer the Lord manifests 
himself unto his people. By prayer 
we learn to practise true humility; 
for by prayer the highest is united to 
the lowest ; the most High God to the 
most humble heart. And this humil- 
ity is the very channel through which 
abundance of divine grace is infused 
into the soul. The more this grace 
humbles man, the more grace itself 
gets rooted in the soul. And again, 
the more a soul is enriched with grace, 
the more she improves in humility. 

17. The most considerable tempta- 
tion and obstruction in prayer seems 
to be when God withdraws the grace 



of a fervent and lively devotion. And 
yet it is in this case that we ought the 
more to stir ourselves up to prayer and 
supplication. It is true, a prayer 
poured forth in a spirit of power and 
fervency must needs be acceptable to 
God ; yet that which climbs up to the 
throne of grace in affliction, tempta- 
tion, spiritual dryness, and brokenness 
of soul, is still more pleasing in his 
sight. For as the heart of a father is 
sooner softened into paternal tender- 
ness, by the trembling words of a sick 
and languishing child, than by the 
strong voice of one in perfect health ; 
so is the secret affliction, and feeble 
effort of a soul affected with a sense 
of her weakness in faith, of her pov- 
erty in spirit, and of her want of spir- 
itual life and comfort, far more accept- 
able to our infinitely good God than 
the more vigorous petition of a soul 
elevated by a sense of faith and divins 
consolation. Only hold out patiently 
in these spiritual straits, and be as- 
sured that the Lord, in his own time, 
will certainly " restore unto thee the 
joy of his salvation." Ps. 51 : 12. 



CHAPTEE XXL 



OF THE POWER OF THE NOBLE VIRTUE OF HUMILITY. 



Be clothed with humility ; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble 
yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. — 1 
Pet. 5 : 5, 6. 



WITHOUT true humility all 
prayer is in vain. Our Lord 
Jesus Christ is the Book from which 
this noble virtue is best learned; as 
he is, indeed, a perfect mirror to us of 
all the virtues and graces. Look on 
his life, and thou wilt find it made up 



of nothing but love and humility. 
Look on his doctrine, and thou wilt 
discern it to be absolute wisdom and 
truth; a doctrine consisting not in 
words, but in a living power; and in 
very deed itself. 

2. Now, in order that we might 



Chap. XXL] 



TBTJE CHKISTIANITY. 



239 



perfectly learn how to practise this 
virtue of humility, he taught it not 
only by words, but also by deeds and 
by his holy example, forasmuch as he 
humbled himself unto death, even the 
death of the cross. Phil. 2 : 8. Be- 
hold, then, O Christian, how this gra- 
cious virtue has its foundation, and its 
highest and most excellent ground, 
not in any angel, not in any apostle or 
eminent saint, but in Jesus Christ him- 
self. And therefore he saith : " Learn 
of me" (Matt. 11 : 29), which is as if 
he had said : " Look ye upon me how 
I abase myself under all, who yet am 
above all. Behold, as much higher as 
my majesty is, so much lower is my 
humility : and so much dearer should 
this virtue be to you, as I your Lord 
and your God have described and de- 
lineated it in my whole life." Observe, 
he saith, " Learn of me." But what? 
Not to do mighty wonders, not to work 
signs and miracles, or show any great 
work of creation, but to be meek and 
lowly. "And if I did not teach you 
this with mine own example," saith 
the meek Lamb of God, "ye would 
not believe that this virtue is so high 
and so noble." 

3. The humble Jesus chose to exem- 
plify this as his concluding work : after 
his last supper, he took a towel and 
girded himself, and then " washed his 
disciples' feet;" that so he might by 
such example implant this virtue in 
all that should be ever called by his 
name, and might most sensibly im- 
print it on the heart of every one to 
whom this Gospel should come. Where- 
fore he also saith : " Know ye what I 
have done to you ?" John 13 : 4, 5, 12. 
" Do ye indeed consider what it is that 
I have done ? Will ye remember this 
that I have now done to you ? Will 
ye be ready to serve one another in 
the same manner? And will ye hum- 



ble yourselves one to the other, and 
submit gladly even to the meanest 
offices of charity ? O learn of me, by 
what you have at this time seen me 
do : for I have given you an example, 
that ye should clo as I have done to 
you. Whosoever then shall forget my 
humility, the same shall forget a prin- 
cipal part both of my doctrine and my 
example, and shall never find rest unto 
his soul. Therefore let this my exam- 
ple be a rule for your whole lives, and 
let my life evermore be set before 
your eyes as a representation of hu- 
mility." 

4. And now let us show that with- 
out humility all prayer to God is ut- 
terly vain. Humility is a bright light 
in the heart, in which there is at once 
discovered to us our own nothingness, 
and the high majesty and overflowing 
goodness of God. Hence the more 
any man knows himself, the more he 
must needs come to the knowledge 
of his own nothingness. For when 
a man sees his own emptiness, and 
learns that he is destitute in himself 
of everything that is good, he begins 
to pray the more earnestly for the 
grace and mercy of God. He pants 
after, and betakes himself to God, as 
to the origin and fountain of all good 
things; desiring to know him aright, 
to praise him, and to honor him as he 
should. This desire being thus be- 
gotten in him, he pours out his heart 
by himself, and says, " When shall I 
come and appear before God?" In 
this humility he looks at God's majesty 
and greatness, as also at his supera- 
bundant love and grace. And here- 
upon the streams of grace flow down 
into such a faithful, humble soul, by 
prayer. And divine grace being thus 
communicated to the thirsty soul, 
there is hereby begotten in it a spirit 
of prayer, which ceases not to ascend 



240 



TEXTE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



in holy aspirations, and to bring down 
the blessings of peace and righteous- 
ness. Through such grace of God 
there is a descent of the Holy Spirit 
into the soul, whose influences thereby 
grow continually stronger and strong- 
er : and the "love of God" is by this 
means "shed abroad in our hearts by 
the Holy Ghost" (Kom. 5:5), which 
is given to us through the prayer of 
humility. For when the believing 
soul, conscious of her own vileness, 
reflects upon the humiliation of the 
Son of God, and beholds him hum- 
bling himself so as not only to put off 
the form of God, that he might appear 
in that of man, but even to suffer the 
greatest of evils in this vile form, for 
the vilest of his creatures; by this re- 
flection and consideration, he is not 
only made humble, but hence, also, in 
this his humility, there springs up a 
most noble flame of love to God, 
which burns more and more day by 
day. And in this divine flame of love, 
the soul, being attracted by faith to 
God, is hence made to love all men in 
God, and in Christ; as calling to mind 
the exceeding great love of the God- 
head towards mankind ; and particu- 
larly how her Heavenly Father has in 
Christ loved her, and called her to the 
participation of his goodness. When 
thus the soul is drawn to God ; and in- 
cluded in his love, the consequence is 
this, that as to all those who are be- 
loved by God, the soul also cannot but 
love in like manner as God loveth 
them. 

5. Hence it follows, that if any good 
befall our neighbor, charity will re- 
joice; but if any evil happen to him, 
it will sorrow. And the humble and 
the charitable person, behaving him- 
self courteously and lovingly towards 
his neighbor on all occasions, does not 
rashly judge him, if he behold his 



misery; much less does he behave 
himself haughtily and superciliously 
towards him, or treat him with con- 
tempt. 1 Cor. 13 : 4. For the soul that 
is truly humble, can never so put off 
the sense of her own misery and vile- 
ness, as to despise another, or to es- 
teem herself better than any; for she 
remembers the mire out of which she 
herself has been delivered. And while 
she stands, she knows well enough 
that she does not stand by her own 
strength, but solely by the help of di- 
vine grace. 

6. Humble charity judges itself in 
the first place, examines itself before 
all, and influences us to condemn our- 
selves rather than others: and a 
neighbor's calamity will cause the 
soul to descend into herself, and de- 
plore herself before God. In another's 
fall, the lowly and loving soul reads 
her own defaults, her own sins and 
transgressions, her own calamity and 
misery. 

7. Moreover, by humility a man is 
confirmed in the knowledge of God, 
and established in hope. Having a 
consciousness of his own ignorance, 
blindness, and folly, in divine matters, 
he gives thanks to God for the revela- 
tion of his word, and imprints it more 
diligently on his heart. But consider- 
ing also, that as he has no knowledge 
of God and divine things in himself, 
so likewise all his own abilities are 
nothing before God : he is hence es- 
tablished in a godly hope, placing his 
confidence in nothing but God only. 

8. Another fruit of humility is, that 
it renders a man acceptable to others, 
even in the very outward course of his 
life. For it avoids contentions and 
quarrels, and composes the whole man 
to gentleness and benignity. Yea, a 
man is conformed by means of it even 
to Christ himself, who says in one of 



Chap. XXII.] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



241 



the Psalms: " But I, as a deaf man, 
heard not; and I was as a dumb man 
that openeth not his mouth. Thus I 
was as a man that heareth not, and in 
whose mouth are no reproofs." Ps. 
38 : 13, 14. Such a faithful and hum- 
ble man as this is a living member of 
Christ, in whom Christ liveth. 

9. Besides, humility brings with it 
true inward peace of the mind; so 
that he who is the possessor of it can 
by no miseries and calamities what- 
ever be unduly distressed or disquiet- 
ed, but may with St. Paul say : " Who 
shall separate us from the love of 
Christ?" Eomans 8:35. And he is 
mindful always of that saying: "My 
grace is sufficient for thee." 2 Cor. 
12:9. 

10. True humility also begets si- 
lence. He who is endued therewith, 
as he is sensible of his own ignorance 
and foolishness, will beware of speak- 
ing a great deal, or of being over-for- 
ward to teach others. 

11. In short, it is impossible to 
enumerate how many spiritual bene- 
fits and fruits, how many heavenly 



treasures of virtues and graces, are 
comprehended in, and flow from, this 
most noble virtue; so that it may de- 
servedly be regarded as a spi ritual 
treasury. It is, therefore, not without 
reason, that the Son of God, our light, 
life, salvation, and treasure, would 
have us to learn it even of himself. O 
that this holy wish of our Lord might 
be fulfilled by all Christians ; and that 
they would with all diligence learn 
from Him this most excellent virtue! 
12. If it be asked, What-is the means 
for acquiring this virtue, and by what 
way may one arrive at so great a treas- 
ure, which abounds so richly in the 
gifts of celestial grace ? I answer, that 
there are two : first, ardent and devout 
prayer ; and secondly, constant medi- 
tation on Christ crucified. Let us look 
earnestly to the passion and death of 
Christ, and let us meditate on it, aa 
on a holy Book of life, till this root of 
the Christian virtues, with all which 
accompany it, grow up day by day in 
our hearts, as in a fruitful and well- 
cultivated soul. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



ALL THE WORKS OF A TRUE CHRISTIAN MUST BE DONE IN HUMILITY, OR THEY 
WILL, OTHERWISE, BECOME AN ABOMINATION AND IDOLATRY. 

That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. — Luke 16 : 15. 



ALL works that are a well-pleasing 
and acceptable sacrifice to God, 
can proceed from true faith alone; 
this will jiot fail to beget Christian 
humility in the heart. The effect of 
this will be meekly to acknowledge 
that with regard to any good that 
may be found in us, it is wholly and 
solely to be ascribed to the grace of 



God : " Not I, but the grace of God 1 
which was with me." 1 Cor. 15 : 10.. 
He who does not do this, commits two 
sins : the first is, apostasy from God, 
by turning himself from God towards 
himself, that is, from the Supreme 
Being, towards that which is in itself 
nothing. The second is sacrilege, by 
taking to himself that honor which is 



16 



242 



TKUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book IL 



due to none but G-od ; to whom, and 
not to man, everything that may be 
called good belongs. He, therefore, 
that doeth not all things in humility, 
steals from God the glory due to him. 
For when God says : " I will not give 
my glory to another, neither my praise 
to graven images" (Isaiah 42 : 8); he 
shows that all glory and praise are 
due to him alone. 

2. If, therefore, any man applaud 
himself, either for knowing or doing 
anything, verily that man takes to 
himself the glory which is due to God 
only, and is thereby an idolater of 
himself. For this reason, ambition is 
abominable idolatry : and self-love, and 
self-esteem, are no less than having 
another God before him whose name 
is Jehovah. For this very reason also, 
the devil seeks to be honored and wor- 
shipped in the world. 

3. Such a vainglorious devil, covet- 
ous of honor and worship from the 
world, every proud and arrogant per- 
son, by thinking highly of himself, 
cherishes in his heart. If thou be 
wise, see that thou break down and 
destroy this idol, which is set up in 
thy heart. Many persons are so holy 
that they will not even look upon any 
outward images, lest they should hap- 
pen to be defiled by them ; not observ- 
ing, at the same time, that great idol 
which they carry about with them in 
their hearts, and by which they are 
to such ,a degree defiled as to become 
an abomination before God. For all 
that is most highly esteemed by men 
(through self-love and ambition) is an 
abomination before God. Whence all 
who seek only their own honor, or 
power, or ascribe aught to themselves 
as their own, are idolaters. Thus the 

e whole world lieth in idolatry ; and 
every house has its living idols. 

4. That idolatry which defiles thee, 



proceeds from within, even from the 
heart. To whatsoever thy heart in- 
clines, in whatsoever it acquiesces and 
rests, and unto whatsoever it cleaves 
by love and inclination, whether it be 
good fortune, wealth, honor, power, or 
long life; that very thing immediately 
becomes an idol, and has seduced thee 
into the sin of idolatry. Idolatry is 
not any outward pollution ; but that 
which is internal, spiritual, and spring 
ing up within. It is so that G-od con- 
siders it; He judges all things accord 
ing to the heart ; and it is so only that 
he looks, trying the hearts and reins 
(Ps. 7: 9), and judging of all things 
according to the faith or unbelief there 
found by him. Whence Christ has 
also plainly told thee, "Where thy 
treasure is, there will thy heart be 
also " (Matt. 6 : 21) ; that is, thy God, 
thy rest, thy peace, thy trust will be 
there ; and there will be thy paradise, 
yea, there will heaven and all things 
be to thee. Observe closely what that 
object is on which thy heart loves to 
dwell, for it is surely thy God, what- 
ever its nature may be. If thy heart 
cleave fast to God only, then is He 
thy God, and blessed art thou : ac- 
cording as it is written : " Happy are 
the people whose God is the Lord." 
Ps. 144 : 15. And again, " Delight thy- 
self also in the Lord, and he shall give 
thee the desire of thy heart." Ps. 37 : 
4. But if thy mind cleave to the world, 
then the world is thy God. And so 
of the rest. 

5. It hence appears that there are 
really in the world no other idols but 
such as the heart of man makes for 
him. The devil himself is called "the 
god of this world " (2 Cor. 4 : 4), be- 
cause the ungodly follow him, do his 
deeds, love darkness, and take pleas- 
ure in the works of the devil. And 
thus men make a god even of Satan. 



Chap. XXII.] 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



243 



6. Idols of wood are easily avoided, 
but take heed of the idols of gold. 
See that thou be not ensnared by 
these. It is no hard matter to keep 
from dead idols; but take heed that 
thou worship not living ones, and es- 
pecially thyself. As soon as thou as- 
cribest honor, skill, or power to thy- 
self, thou settest up thyself in the 
place of God. This idolatry is prop- 
erly struck at by God, when he says 
that he " will not give his glory to 
another." Isa. 42 : 8. For whatsoever 
is, or is called by the name of honor 
and glory, is due to none but him, who 
is the Most High, and the most Holy 
One, and the sovereign and everlast- 
ing Good. Whosoever, therefore, thou 
art, that wouldest not make an idol 
of thyself, nor pollute thy works with 
the foulest of abominations before 
God, learn hence, not to ascribe to thy- 
self honor, or glory, or praise ; know- 
ing, that it is true humility to shun 
honor, and to account one's self un- 
worthy of all glory. When thou shalt 
do this, and shalt have mortified all 
ambition and self-esteem, then thou 
shalt be known to be dead to the 
world indeed. From this springs up 
the new man, in whom is found the 
most noble life of Christ; which life, 
he himself has described as being 
meekness and lowliness of heart. Matt. 
11 : 29. He, on the contrary, is still 
carnal, and lives after the flesh, ac- 
cording to the old birth, who would 
be honored and greatly esteemed : be- 
cause it is the nature of the carnal 
man to endeavor to be, or to be ac- 
counted above all others. But if any 
man seek to be accounted nothing of, 
he has a heart truly spiritual and 
Christian. But alas ! where shall we 
now find the true Christians, that is, 
such as are willing to be slighted, and 
to be reputed as nothing? For, as 



hath been said before, it is the prop- 
erty of the true followers of Christ, 
to deny themselves, to hate them- 
selves, to despise themselves, and to 
renounce all that is theirs, for his 
sake. Matt. 10 : 38 ; Luke 9 : 23. Such 
are indeed genuine Christians. 

7. If any one should here ask of me, 
What then is a Christian to do, if it 
please God so to honor him as to give 
him grace and glory before the world 
(Ps. 84 : 11), as in the case of Daniel: 
and, since God has appointed certain 
distinctions among men, several orders, 
states, and offices ; and has for that 
end variously distributed his gifts 
among them, What is the duty of a 
Christian, if he be advanced to some 
post of dignity ? I answer, If this be 
thy lot, then render all the honor 
which is conferred upon thee to God 
again; and ascribe nothing to thy- 
self which is the right of another, or 
take that to be thine which is God's 
only. 

8. As soon, therefore, as any honor 
is given thee, see that, being mindful 
of thy low estate, thou transfer it all 
to God, and keep nothing thereof to 
thyself. If thou neglectest to do this, 
and shouldest be induced to attribute 
anything to tl^self, it is certain that 
thou must thereby lose divine grace, 
while, with a sacrilegious impiety, 
thou invadest that which of right be- 
longs to God. So if thou excel others 
in spiritual or natural gifts, in wisdom 
or skill, wealth or dignity, be watchful 
not to take this honor to thyself; yea, 
let it be thy joy and delight to offer 
all up to God again, from a most deep 
and intimate devotion of thy heart. 
This thou wilt not fail to do, and to 
give that glory to Him which is due, 
when thou shalt glory in nothing but 
in Him only, according to the words 
of the Prophet : " Let not the wise 



244 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II. 



man glory in his wisdom; neither let 
the mighty man glory in his might; 
let not the rich man glory in his 
riches : but let him that glorieth, glory 
in this, that he understandeth and 



knoweth me, that I am the Lord 
which exercise loving-kindness, judg- 
ment, and righteousness in the earth; 
for in these things I delight, saith the 
Lord." Jer. 9 : 23, 24. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 



A MAN WHO DOES NOT PERCEIVE HIS OWN EMPTINESS, AND DOES NOT GIVE 
ALL THE HONOR TO GOD, COMMITS THE GREATEST OF SINS, AND FALLS LIKE 
SATAN. 

Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. — Ps. 39 : 5. 



TO the end that man may acknowl- 
edge his own vanity, he is com- 
pared by the Psalmist (Ps. 39 ; 144 : 4), 
to a shadow; and again in another 
place (Ps. 90 : 5), to a dream. Now 
what is a shadow ? It is a lifeless re- 
semblance of that thing on which it 
depends; and has in itself neither 
substance nor life, but is nothing. 
In like manner, man of himself has 
neither substance, life, strength, nor 
indeed any ability whatsoever; but 
depends on God, even as a shadow on 
the body, or as light on the sun. 

2. "Whosoever, therefore, so forgets 
himself as not to depend on God, who 
alone is all in all, " thinking himself 
to be something when he is nothing, 
he deceiveth himself." Gal. 6 : 3. He 
falls from the true eternal and Sov- 
ereign Being into his own nothing- 
ness; from the unchangeable Good 
into vanity; from truth itself into a 
lie. 

3. This is not only the greatest of 
sins, but of punishments also. For 
the more man turns from God to him- 
self, the more he approaches extreme 
misery and calamity. And man by 
this means, even by turning himself 



away from God, towards his own fac- 
ulties and powers, in truth punishes 
thereby the very sin which he com- 
mits. He is then accounted to turn 
himself away from God, and to for- 
sake " the rock of his salvation " 
(Deut. 32 : 15), whenever he ascribes 
to himself any degree of power or 
strength, art or skill, wisdom, or 
honor, or merit, so as to be willing 
to be thought somebody, and to be 
much accounted of; when, in very 
deed, all these in no wise belong to 
man, or to any creature, but to God 
only. Every creature is but a mere 
shadow, and of itself merely nothing; 
even so as the life, substance, faculty, 
wisdom, powers, and strength which 
it seems to have, are not properly its 
own, but are God's only. 

4. Wherefore, as soon as a man as- 
cribes all or any of these to himself, 
he becomes guilty of apostasy from 
God. Nor indeed was the devil's apos- 
tasy aught else, but the not abiding 
within the bounds, duties, and prop- 
erties of a creature, which has all its 
life, substance, and ability in God, and 
ought to hold the same from him, as 
the shadow does with respect to the 



Chap. XXIV.] 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



245 



body and the motion thereof. For 
any one, therefore, to ascribe those 
things to himself which are God's; or 
to challenge to himself honor, glory, 
wisdom, or esteem (forasmuch as none 
of these suit a creature, but are all to 
be transferred to God alone, to whom 
they really appertain), is properly to 
fall like Satan. Hence God permitted 
him to fall, not sustaining him any 
longer with his grace, which was by 
him disowned. The same thing must 
befall all men who, through pride and 
ambition, presume to arrogate to them- 
selves any of those things which are 
God's. They are not upheld by the 
grace of God, who arrogantly turn 
themselves away from God, affecting 
to be as God. God alone being All in 
all, and moreover being the only Good, 
or the one Good, and the all- Good es- 
sentially; it would be most unreason- 
able for any creature to claim to itself 
aught of that which is good. Hence 
our blessed Lord saith, "There is none 
good but one, that is God" (Matt. 19 : 
17); meaning, that he is the essential 
Good, and he alone is all that is good. 
This property of God, our Saviour was 
not willing to take unto himself in his 



state of humiliation, forasmuch as he 
was then held to be no more than a 
mere man ; that thus, by his most 
bright example, he might instruct us 
that man ought not to ascribe to him- 
self the things which are God's. 

5. When man docs otherwise, he 
commits the greatest of all sins, and, 
aiming at divinity, stains himself 
thereby with a most nefarious sacri- 
lege, being turned from God to him- 
self. And as many as are in this con- 
dition, seek help, counsel, and comfort, 
not from God only, as they ought, but 
from creatures, and sometimes even 
from the devil himself. But what 
greater madness, or what worse blind- 
ness is there, than to expect good 
from evil, life from death, blessedness 
from the damned, help from the help- 
less, blessedness from the accursed, 
and light from darkness ? Whereas, 
on the other hand, it is the highest 
wisdom to look for good from the 
source of all good, to seek life from 
the fountain of life, to expect blessed- 
ness from the spring of salvation, and 
to go for help to him who can do all 
things, and "with whom nothing is 
impossible." Luke 1 : 37. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



OF THE NOBLE VIRTUE OF LOVE, AND OF ITS POWER, SOUNDNESS, AND PURITY. 
He that loveth not, Tinoweih not God; for God is love. — 1 John 4 : 8. 



LOYE, says St. Paul, is the greatest 
of all virtues, and without it all 
gifts are unprofitable (1 Cor. 13 : 13) ; 
therefore he admonishes us, saying, 
"Let all your things be done with 
charity." 1 Cor. 16 : 14. Accordingly 
We are to pray with charity, as our 



Lord says : " If thou bring thy gift to 
the altar, and there rememberest that 
thy brother hath aught against thee; 
go thy way; first be reconciled to thy 
brother." Matt. 5 : 23, 24. And in the 
Lord's Prayer ; our forgiving our neigh- 
bor's debts, or trespasses, is strictly 



246 



TEUE CHRISTIANITY. 



[Book II, 



joined to God's forgiving ours. Matt. 
6 : 12, 14, 15. 

2. Love is, however, so singular a 
virtue, that a man may mistake there- 
in as easily as in anything else. There- 
fore nothing ought to be looked upon 
with a more suspicious eye than love ; 
for there is nothing which can so power- 
fully incline, force, or restrain, and so 
thoroughly penetrate the mind, as love. 
Therefore, if love be not ruled by the 
true light, the Holy Ghost, it precipi- 
tates the soul into a thousand calam- 
ities. 

3. And this I do not say with respect 
to the love of evil ; for this, as a dia- 
bolical thing, is by all Christians to be 
avoided ; but I speak of that love which 
is betwixt God, and man, and his neigh- 
bor. Love, when not regulated by di- 
vine wisdom, can easily be deceived, 
misled, and thrust out of its due order, 
so as not to reach the true end. Many 
think they have the love of God in 
their souls, and yet have the love of 
the world, or their own love, nay, it 
may be the love of Satan. 

4. Take an instance of this fact : 
any one that loves the Lord God only 
for the sake of temporal things, that 
he may be preserved by him from tem- 
poral misfortunes, loves himself more 
than God, and prefers his own welfare 
before God. This is called inordinate 
love. He ought to love God more than 
himself, nay, love him above all things ; 
and all things, both good and evil days, 
he ought to love for the sake of God. 

5. But wlien man prefers himself to 
the love of God, he surely makes him- 
self God, by loving himself more than 
God; and whilst he loves not God as 
God, for his sake, but merely for his 
own private interest, he has a false 
and deceitful love. He that has such a 
love, loves all things for his own sake, 
for the profit and honor which he reaps 



from them. He loves also holy men, 
nay, the very word of God, for this 
reason only, that it may afford him a 
show and name of holiness, but not 
for the sake of that excellent Good 
which lies hid therein. 

6. And because such a love is impure, 
it brings forth impure fruits, which are 
self-interest, self-honor, self-lust ; all 
which are carnal and earthly, not 
heavenly and spiritual fruits. Thus 
many love great skill and learning, 
that they may be preferred to others, 
and may rule over them; not from a 
principle of love to God and their 
neighbor, but from a love to them- 
selves, thinking thereby to gain great 
honors and preferments. 

7. There are others also who love 
God that he may spare them, and not 
punish them for their sins in dreadful 
severity; nay, that he may be bounti- 
ful to them in this present time ; but 
this, alas! is a very weak love. For 
these love God for their own profit, 
and not for his own sake, or not by 
reason of his being the most excellent 
and highest Good. 

8. Others love God that he may be- 
stow upon them many gifts in under- 
standing and wisdom, whereby they 
might gain a great reputation. 

9. Some also love virtue, not for the 
sake of virtue itself, but that they may 
obtain a great name, and be looked 
upon as brave, virtuous men, and men 
famous for their honesty and piety. 
All this is not true love, for it tends 
not to the right end. 

10. There is often also love betwixt 
some persons uniting themselves by a 
love of their own, which increases in 
them so much that they are pleased 
with everything done by him whom 
they love. For love always follows 
its beloved, and cleaves wholly unto 
him. And thereby one is often in- 



Chap. XXIV.] 



TKUE CHKISTIAMTY. 



247 



volved and drawn aside into evil ; or 
even the lover himself allures his be- 
loved to it, because he knows that so 
it pleases him ; and by this false and 
deceitful love he is hindered from 
prayer and all other Christian virtues. 

11. Therefore it is highly necessary 
that our love should be guided and 
ruled by the Holy Spirit, and by our 
meditations on the whole life of Christ 
and his holy sufferings, out of which 
nothing but pure love shines forth. 
He loved God purely, above all things, 
and not himself. He loved man with 
a pure, un defiled love, and not him- 
self. He did and spake nothing for 
his own sake, but all for ours. What- 
soever he did and spoke was for our 
benefit; he was not profited by it, but 
we were. All his pains and labors, 
nay, his greatest torments and afflic- 
tions, were not too hard or heavy for 
him, that we might be benefited and 
saved thereby; nay, his very cross 
was joy unto him, that he might fulfil 
the will of God his Father. 

12. That is a pure, undefiled love for 
which nothing is too difficult, which 
complains of nothing, nay, which 
spares not itself, but gives itself for 
the beloved's sake, even unto death. 
Whatsoever crosses and sufferings God 
sends, this love regards as good. It 
sees that it is the holy will of Gocl, 
and therefore it would rather suffer 
much more for the same, and is very 
well contented with everything that 
God willeth ; for it knows that God 
orders all things right and well. 

13. And as love unites itself to the 
beloved, it learns also his manners, 
follows him for his love's sake, and 
does that which is well-pleasing unto 
him : so he that loves Christ rightly 
learns of him his manner of life and 
his virtues, for he knows it is well- 
pleasing unto him. He conforms him- 



self to his image, and remains all his 
life under the yoke and cross of Christ, 
even as Christ, during his whole life, 
bore the cross of poverty, contempt, 
and pains. And although no man in 
this frail state can attain unto perfect 
love, yet every Christian is to labor, 
that his love be not false, but as pure 
as possible, according to what St. Paul 
says, "Love out of a pure heart, and 
of a good conscience, and of faith un- 
feigned." 1 Tim. 1 : 5, 

14. This pure love, derived from 
Christ and the* Holy Ghost, works in 
man every good thing, and is never 
idle. It is its joy to do good, for it 
can do nothing else ; even as the Lord 
God says, " I will rejoice over them to 
do them good/' Jer. 32:41. Why? 
Because God is love itself, which can 
do nothing else but that which it is in 
its own being. And this is a sign of 
pure and true love. For this love does 
not say, " I am not obliged to do this 
or that;" but where it has no law, 
there it is a law unto itself, only that 
it may do much good ; for otherwise 
love would not continue to be love. 

15. Hence it is plain why God Al- 
mighty is never weary of doing good; 
and why he is that infinite Good which 
never ceases to be. He is everlasting 
love, which cannot desist from doing. 



or else he would cease to be^ 
love.. Therefore, evem when he pun^ 
ishes and chastises,, he draws all good, 
out of evil, directing it to a good end,. 
even to our salvation. 

16. This pure love of God causes us. 
to pray aright. For as a friend has. 
his friend at his disposal in all things,, 
so also such a lover of God is a friend 
of God, and obtains from him that for- 
which he prays. Therefore, because 
Lazarus's sister knew the Lord Jesus 
to be not only a friend, but also the 
Son of God, she said, " I know that, 



248 



TEUE CHKISTIANITY. 



[Book II, 



even now whatsoever thou wilt ask of 
God, God will give it thee" (John 
11 : 22) ; and because Mary loved Je- 
sus, she was heard by the Lord, and 
he restored her brother unto her. Of 
such a love as obtains from God all 
things, holy David saith, " Delight 
thyself also in the Lord, and he shall 
give thee the desires of thine heart." 
Ps. 37 : 4. 

17. But in order that thou may est 
have a characteristic mark of this love, 
observe these four properties of true 
love. 1. Love submits itself to the 
will of the beloved. 2. True love 
abandons all friendship which is con- 
trary to its beloved. 3. One friend 
reveals his heart unto the other. 4. 
A true lover endeavors to be made 
conformable to his beloved, in his man- 
ners, and in all his life. Is the be- 
loved poor, the lover will be poor with 
him. Is the beloved despised, the 
lover also bears his contempt. Is he 
sick, the lover is sick too. Thus love 
makes an equality between them, so 
that they have the same prosperity 
and adversity. For there must be 
such a communion between the lover 
and the beloved, as that each of them 
shall be made partaker of the other's 
good as well as ill. This, then, is not 
only a communion, but a union or 
uniting of two minds like each other, 
and of two hearts which are alike. 

18. After such a manner our Lord 
Jesus Christ is become our Friend. 
For, 1. His love submitted itself to the 



will of man, and was obedient unto 
the cross : nay, for the sake of man 
he submitted his will to every one, 
even to his enemies. 2. He neglected 
all other friendship that he could have 
had in the world ; nay, he even forgot 
hi